Starting to show signs of life with the pro games - who would have thought, two entire weeks in a row above .500! Home teams in CAPS.
Miami (+1.5) over CINCINNATI
The Dolphins are 3-0 on the road so far and got jobbed last week against Pittsburgh. The Bengals are back to being the Bungles, dropping 3 straight by a field goal each. Whether they are playing up or down to their opponent, the Bengals have been doing just enough to lose. Pacman Jones is headed to IR, leaving Leon Hall to try to cover Brandon Marshall, which may create mismatches with linebackers or safeties against Dolphins slot receiver Davone Bess, one of the more exciting offensive players in the league that doesn't get enough press.
DETROIT (-2.5) over Washington
I have to be out of my mind laying points with the Lions, but like I said a few weeks back, the Redskins have yet to win a game that wasn't put on a platter for them by their opponent's miscues. Last week they needed four INT's from Jay Cutler to DeAngelo Hall (each one worse than the next) as well as a deplorable blown call/non-challenge at the goal line to overcome Donovan McNabb's putrid game and beat the Bears 17-14. What's worse is that the Redskins own ineptitude saved the game for them, as a pick-six by the Bears was negated by a Washington delay of game penalty. Detroit has been in every game this year and is coming off a bye, so what the heck.
NEW ENGLAND (-5) over Minnesota
Now that I finally got a Patriots game right last week, I'll try for two in a row. Hmm, a 5-1 team at home giving less than a touchdown to an opponent whose quarterback options include Tarvaris Jackson and Brett "aging faster than Robin Williams in the movie Jack" Favre on a fractured ankle? Where do I sign?
SAN DIEGO (-3.5) over Tennessee
I've gone on record in regards to my opinion of the Chargers, but I can't shake my gut feeling about this one. Their offense woke up in the 4th quarter against New England last week and has already gotten their 7th round draft pick's worth from Patrick Crayton. Watching Tennessee against the Eagles last week, it was clear that their offense was basically "let Chris Johnson dance around and then throw it high and far to Kenny Britt," the latter of which was unstoppable in the second half. The unfortunate part for the Titans is that Vince Young is likely to return, which means that many of those bombs to Britt will be 3-4 yards off target.
Pittsburgh (+1) over NEW ORLEANS
Not that I want this to happen, but the Steelers can seemingly do no wrong this year. They are flying around on defense and getting the benefit of borderline calls when needed, as well as showcasing the ability to strike downfield if you try too hard to stop Rashard Mendenhall. Meanwhile, the Saints can't keep a running back healthy and have the Bayou wondering how long the honeymoon is. I refuse to overreact to the egg the Saints laid against the Browns last week, but the Steelers have that close-game quality about them thus far and I think they take it 24-21 or so.
Last Week: 3-2-0