Well, for the second straight week, I had a .500 result. Thank God I’m not a gambling man, but I’d still like to finish above .500 for the season and I’m definitely on pace for that.
Here’s a look at this week’s matchups and how I think they’ll play out.
Last Week: 7-7
This Week: 9-5
San Diego (3-3) at Buffalo (4-1)
This is a tough game to start off my week of predictions. The Chargers are the league’s highest-scoring team, but the Bills have been solid defensively. I think LaDainian Tomlinson will make the difference in this one.
Prediction: San Diego 24, Buffalo 20
Actual Score: Buffalo 23, San Diego 14
New Orleans (3-3) at Carolina (4-2)
The Saints have been one of the most explosive offenses in the league and that has been without Marques Colston. Colston is probable for this week which could mean extra trouble for Carolina’s defense. But the Panthers’ pass defense is second in the league. I’ll give the edge to the home team.
Prediction: Carolina 23, New Orleans 21
Actual Score: Carolina 30, New Orleans 7
Minnesota (3-3) at Chicago (3-3)
The Bears have both a chip on their shoulders from last week’s heartbreaker and a bad taste in their mouths from last year’s two Vikings games. I think this week they contain Adrian Peterson and finish the job in the 4th quarter.
Prediction: Chicago 27, Minnesota 20
Actual Score: Chicago 48, Minnesota 41
Pittsburgh (4-1) at Cincinnati (0-6)
The Bengals have had difficulty scoring points and winning games with Carson Palmer at the helm. I don’t think they knock off one of the NFL’s top teams without Palmer.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 16
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 38, Cincinnati 10
Tennessee (5-0) at Kansas City (1-4)
One of the Chiefs’ biggest threats, running back Larry Johnson, will sit this week because of disciplinary reasons. The Chiefs have the worst run defense in the league and the Titans are solid in that offensive department.
Prediction: Tennessee 24, Kansas City 12
Actual Score: Tennessee 34, Kansas City 10
Baltimore (2-3) at Miami (2-3)
This is going to be a low-scoring game unless Miami’s trick offense gives the league’s No. 1 defense trouble. I’d like to think that the Ravens could beat a bad Miami team, but the Baltimore offense is just terrible.
Prediction: Miami 16, Baltimore 13
Actual Score: Baltimore 27, Miami 13
San Francisco (2-4) at New York Giants (4-1)
The Giants are on a short week after losing to the Browns in Cleveland Monday night. I think they’ll be back on track this week, though.
Prediction: NY Giants 28, San Francisco 20
Actual Score: NY Giants 29, San Francisco 17
Dallas (4-2) at St. Louis (1-4)
After being ruled out for up to a month with a broken finger, Tony Romo was back practicing this week and might play sooner than expected. But he’s listed as questionable for the Rams game. Even if he doesn’t play, the Cowboys are too talented to lose to the Rams… at least, one would think so.
Prediction: Dallas 27, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: St. Louis 34, Dallas 14
Detroit (0-5) at Houston (1-4)
The Lions were in terrible shape before they traded Roy Williams to the Cowboys and placed Jon Kitna on IR. Even though the Texans only have one win this season, they should be able to handle the Lions.
Prediction: Houston 27, Detroit 16
Actual Score: Houston 28, Detroit 21
Indianapolis (3-2) at Green Bay (3-3)
The overwhelming question for this game is which Colts team can we expect to see? The one that struggled in the first quarter of the season, or the one that lit up the NFL’s best defense last week for 31 points? I expect the latter of the two as they beat up on a weakened Packers secondary.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Green Bay 21
Actual Score: Green Bay 34, Indianapolis 14
New York Jets (3-2) at Oakland (1-4)
The Raiders are 25th in the league against the pass and that could open up the game for Brett Favre and the Jets’ passing attack.
Prediction: NY Jets 27, Oakland 17
Actual Score: Oakland 16, NY Jets 13
Cleveland (2-3) at Washington (4-2)
The Browns surprised everyone with a Monday night win over the defending champions, but two upset victories over NFC East opponents in a row? This week on the road? I just don’t see it happening.
Prediction: Washington 20, Cleveland 17
Actual Score: Washington 14, Cleveland 11
Seattle (1-4) at Tampa Bay (4-2)
Tampa Bay is playing as well as any team in the league and the Seahawks’ defense is just awful this year. If I had to pick one lock of the week, this would probably be it.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 27, Seattle 14
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 20, Seattle 10
Denver (4-2) at New England (3-2)
The Patriots don’t have a run game and their defense had trouble defending the pass last week against San Diego, which is something the Broncos are good at. The Broncos, however, are hurting with injuries. This is a tough game to predict. I’m going to give the Patriots the benefit of the doubt because I think receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss will make the difference here.
Prediction: New England 23, Denver 20
Actual Score: New England 41, Denver 7