Last Week; 5-10-1
1:00 PM [ET]
Tennessee At New York (Giants) Vince Young's struggles (20 completions in 2 games & 4 turnovers) v. the Giants defense inability to stop the run (249 yards allowed in two games). Expect heavy doses of Chris Johnson if the Titans plan on avoiding dropping two straight. Take the Giants -3, back in their new digs the Giants can take care of business and bounce back from their blowout loss against the Colts a week ago.
Pittsburgh At Tampa Bay Weathering the storm pretty well are the Steelers. With Roethlisberger returning in three weeks the 2-0 Steelers are again being tested after the injury to quarterback Dennis Dixon. Veteran Charlie Batch will start against the 2-0 Bucs with Byron Leftwich in the hole. The Bucs boast two victories against Cleveland and Carolina, probably two of the worst teams in the league. Take the Steelers -2.5 on the road.
Cincinnati At Carolina I'm not sure if the Bengals defense is better than their week 1 performance against the Patriots or if their week 2 win was a result of how bad Joe Flacco's Raven offense really is? The Panthers rushing attack hasn't looked good and I don't think the jump to rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen is going to improve the offense. With Clausen under center I'm sure Marvin Lewis is going to have the Bengal defense with ears pinned back looking to rattle the rookie. Bengals -3.
Cleveland At Baltimore The only certainty in Baltimore is their defense, but we've known that. Against the Jets and Bengals, the Ravens gave up just 8 field goals and 0 touchdowns. Downside? The supposed newly structured scoring Raven offense has put up just 20 points in those same games. Throwing 4 interceptions in Cincinnati was just the icing on the cake for the 3rd-year quarterback. The cure? A home game against the Cleveland Browns. On board with the Ravens -10.5, even if that seems a bit high.
Dallas At Houston Do or die time for the 0-2 Cowboys. With a bye week coming up if the Cowboys were to go in at 0-3 following a loss in the Lonestar State, I can't imagine things in Dallas getting more uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans the Texan offense is no joke, more importantly the Texans aren't the team to recover against. All that being said, and yes this is a homer pick (me being a Cowboys fan), at some point this team has to make a statement, has to. Cowboys +3
San Francisco At Kansas City I loved the way San Francisco played in the final minutes of their Monday night loss to the Saints. But wait, do it on the road and for four quarters. If San Francisco were to go into Kansas City and come out with a decisive win, avoiding an 0-3 start, then we'll perk up. Till that happens I'm still out. The Chiefs do a couple things well, they run the ball and they play run defense. 49ers -3, Frank Gore is the toughest player that rush defense has seen.
Detroit At Minnesota A division loss here would be crippling for the Vikings. The 0-2 start, failure to trade for an impact receiver, division rivals the Bears and Packers jumping out 2-0, Favre coming off an awful performance, a loss would really stun the Vikings. While I love what Detroit has been able to do thus far, put points on the board, show off their young talent, and handle an early injur to their starting quarterback, it may just be too much. Just like the points. Lions +10.5
Buffalo At New England That Kevin Faulk injury means something, don't brush it aside. The Bills are awful, they should spend their weekends in college football stadiums from coast to coast finding a quarterback to draft next season. These are the games that get people talking about the Patriots again, blowouts against division opponents. With a road game in Miami on Monday night in a week, a loss to the Jets last week, this victory is very important for New England. I can't believe I'm giving an NFL team 13 points and call them to lose. Patriots -13.
Atlanta At New Orleans That blowout win against the Cardinals proved one thing, the Cardinals are terrible. Atlanta isn't a team that can put up major points every week, they're average. After New Orleans near loss in San Francisco and a sub par performance in the opener against the Vikings, I do think they'll go back to the drawing board this week. However, just as important has Kevin Faulk is to the Patriots, the utility-man Reggie Bush of the Saints being injured is just as important if not more. For the second time this season, Saints -4.5
4:05 PM [ET] & 4:15 PM [ET]
Washington At St. Louis A tough overtime loss to the Texans last week, the Redskins defense still looked good. They held first week sensation Arian Foster to just 69 yards but came up short. But wait, I know St. Louis isn't all that good but they can't be overlooked. Their first two games this season they didn't play well enough to win but made strides. First year quarterback Sam Bradford looks pretty good thus far and a test against Washington's fast defense will really be tough for him. Still, McNabb is to veteran to let his team look past St. Louis. Redskins -3.5
Philadelphia At Jacksonville Well Mike, your turn. Not because someone is injured, because you proved you give one team the best chance to win and better than anyone else on the depth chart. Last week Phil Rivers torched this Jaguars secondary for nearly 350 yards, so be prepared to see Vicks arm often. The receivers seem to be taking a liking to the more mature quarterback in Vick and seem to have rallied behind him. As written yesterday, Mike Vick spread the ball around last week against the Lions very well and he'll do more of the same this weekend. Eagles -3
Oakland At Arizona The Raiders may have problems at quarterback, Jason Campbell being benched last week, but so do the Cardinals. Derek Anderson threw two interceptions last week against the Falcons and also turned in a QB rating south of 45. Gradkowski gets the start for the Raiders this week but the thing to keep your eye on is Darren McFadden who is having a pretty solid start rushing for over 240 yards through two. The Raiders getting points is strictly because they're on the road, nothing that Cards have done. Raiders +4.5 The Cardinals are bad and their quarterback is on Dancing With The Stars.
San Diego At Seattle Thumped the 49ers in week 1, got hammered by the Broncos in week 2. What do I expect from Pete Carroll and the Seahawks now? I, unlike most people, show Phil Rivers the respect he should be getting. Throwing for over 300 yards in a bounce back win last week against Jacksonville last weekend. The Seattle defense isn't good and watching that Bronco offense rip them up last week cemented that. Unfortunately, I do believe a handful of places in the NFL are tough to play and Seattle is one of them. Close win by San Diego but, Seahawks +5.5
Indianapolis At Denver Yep, those are the Colts we thought we would see. Indianapolis ripped up the Giants last week by running the ball and passing all over them. Manning hit his favorite targets Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai rushed for nearly 100 yards and almost 5 yards per carry, and that was all she wrote. They got after brother Eli a bunch of times and will look to do the same thing in Denver against Kyle Orton. I like the Colts to start their win streak now but that Denver team is still hard for me to put a finger on. Being said, Colts -6
8:20 PM [ET]
New York (Jets) At Miami Monster Sunday night game and again the Jets are on center stage. They play their third straight tough game and second straight division game to start the season. The 2-0 Dolphins looked good beating up the Vikings in week 2 and already have a 1-0 division record with their week 1 victory over Buffalo. No Revis, and going against Brandon Marshall that is going to be a problem. The interesting thing is the side story surrounding the Jets, the Braylon Edwards DWI in New York on Monday night is a bad sign for them with this game coming up. After this week I expect the Dolphins to be sitting pretty looking down at the rest of the division. Dolphins -1.5
Monday Night, 8:30 PM [ET]
Green Bay At Chicago Back to Earth Jay Cutler, back to Earth. Yes, the Bears are 0-2 but these are the kinds of games they have to win if they want to say anything. You stole the opener from the Lions, in week 2 you beat a Dallas team playing not to lose, now meet Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback is going to look to beat Chicago by going through the air and often. The Bears defense allowed Miles Austin to get his second straight 140+ yard receiving game last week and I watched Calvin Johnson rough up their defensive backs in week 1. Get ready Bears fans, your in for a long night. Packers -3
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