After an impressive 9-4 showing my first two weeks of doing these picks I only went 7-7 last week, needing wins Sunday and Monday nights just to break even. That puts me at 25-15 for the season so far. Bernie19Kosar had the best record last week at 10-4. You can go here to check out your picks and record from last week. The byes are all over so we'll have 16 games per weekend from here on out.
The Bears, riding a 2-game winning streak and tied with the Packers on top of their division, are facing the Dolphins who will start third-string QB Tyler Thigpen in the Thursday night game. This is a matchup of two teams that don't get much respect nationally but are still fighting for playoff spots. I think the Bears defense continues to play well and force turnovers against an inexperienced quarterback.
The Browns are coming off of an overtime loss to the Jets but continue to gain respect around the league, and they face off against a team that continues to find a way to win close games but gets blown out by good teams. I know many Browns fans expect this to be an easy win but I think the Jags will be tougher than many think. I see the Browns pulling out a victory in the fourth quarter on another late drive by Colt McCoy.
The picks continue after the jump . . .
The Bills got their first win last Sunday after some close losses and look to continue that streak against the floundering Bengals. This game will be blacked out in Cincy because they didn't sell out and I think most Bengals fans will be glad they're not watching this game. The Bills have a good offense with Fitzpatrick at quarterback and I don't see the Bengals stopping them.
Oakland came to Pittsburgh last year and stunned the Steelers so they'll be looking for revenge in this game. Pittsburgh's offensive line is hurt by injuries so the Raiders defense could give them trouble, but I think Ben makes enough plays to give them the victory. They won't be surprised by the Raiders this time.
The Cowboys stunned everyone last week with their convincing victory against the Giants, so whatever Jason Garrett did differently must have worked. I think they'll continue that in this game against the Lions, who will be again playing without Matt Stafford.
The Redskins got embarrassed by the Eagles on Monday night and look to bounce back against the Titans, who lost last weekend in Randy Moss' first game with the team. I think Moss gets more involved in the offense this game and the Titans get a win in this one.
The Chiefs got blown out by the Broncos last week and have gone 2-4 since their 3-0 start, but they're still tied for first place in the AFC West. Facing Derek Anderson and the Cardinals is a good way to get a winning streak started again.
Packers (6-3) at Vikings (3-6)
The Vikings' disappointing season continued last Sunday with a loss to the Bears, who are now tied with the Packers on top the division. The Packers continue to battle injuries and may be without star linebacker Clay Matthews, so put me down for a Vikings upset in this one. I don't think Brett Favre is done yet.
Texans (4-5) at Jets (7-2)
The Jets keep finding ways to win, coming off back-to-back overtime wins on the road the past two weekends, while the Texans lost to the Jags in heartbreaking fashion last Sunday. Houston's defense is terrible, though, so look for the Jets to continue their winning streak in this one.
The Ravens lost in the last minute to the Falcons last Thursday night but they shouldn't be worried about that happening in this game; this one will be over by halftime. Brian St. Pierre, a 5th round pick in 2003 who has thrown 5 passes in eight seasons, is starting for the Panthers over rookie Tony Pike in place of Jimmy Clausen, who is out with a concussion.
Falcons (7-2) at Rams (4-5)
The Rams have been playing well under Sam Bradford but they'll have trouble beating the Falcons, a team many people believe to be the best in the NFC. I think they'll keep it close but look for Atlanta to pull away in the fourth quarter.
Reggie Bush returns to face his old coach, Pete Carroll, now in Seattle. The Seahawks look like the best team in a bad division but they're not good enough to win this one in New Orleans.
Bucs (6-3) at 49ers (3-6)
Troy Smith continues to play well at QB for the Niners and is getting the support of his teammates, who are impressed with his leadership and command of the offense. But Josh Freeman continues to play well for the surprising Buccaneers, who are fighting to keep up with the Falcons in the NFC South. This should be another good, close game, but I see Troy Smith continuing his winning ways with SF.
It must be Novembers because the Colts are playing the Pats - this is the sixth straight year that is happening, with the Colts winning four of the past five. The Patriots rebounded from their loss to the Browns by beating up the Steelers on Sunday night, so I think they'll knock of Indy in this game at home. The Colts are still missing many of their weapons at wide receiver so that gives Brady and the Patriots the edge here.
Giants (6-3) at Eagles (6-3)
Michael Vick and the Eagle put on one of the best offensive displays in recent memory last Monday night against Washington, while the Giants are coming off a bad loss to the Cowboys when many people were call them the best team in the NFC. This is a very important game for both teams, not just for the division lead but possible seeding implications come playoff time. The Eagles have won four in a row against the Giants and if Vick plays anything close to what he did last game they'll make it five here.
Broncos (3-6) at Chargers (4-5)
This game should feature plenty of offensive firepower, with the top two passers in the NFL facing off in Philip Rivers and Kyle Orton. The Chargers need to win this to pull to .500 and continue their annual late-season surge towards a division title, and I don't think the Broncos have enough to stop them.