I had a brutal day in college football last weekend and it carried over into my NFL predictions on Sunday. The Bucs, Broncos and 49ers were all losers, while the Cowboys turned out to be my own winn-ah.
Oh, the horror.
I’ve got a new attitude, a new perspective and a new lease on life this week. I smell a
0-4 4-0 day…
Ravens +1 at. Steelers, 1:00PM ET
At some point, the fact that the Steelers don’t have a quarterback has to catch up with them, right? Well, if it doesn’t this week then it won’t matter because Big Ben is set to return next Sunday. I’m fully aware that Charlie Batch threw for three touchdowns last weekend in Tampa, but I think John Paulsen started at free safety for the Bucs. Baltimore’s defense took a step back in the win over Cleveland last Sunday, but the offense showed signs of life for the first time all year. Ray Rice is banged up, but he wasn’t going to find much running room this week anyway. No defense is playing better than Pittsburgh’s is right now, but I still think the secondary can be had outside of Troy Polamalu (the best, hands down, overall defender in the league in my estimation). Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin win this one through the air, while the Ravens’ D finally makes things miserable on a Steelers’ backup quarterback.
THE PICK: RAVENS +1
Jets at. Bills +5, 1:00PM ET
The Jets are coming off back-to-back wins and while Mark Sanchez has been solid, I still don’t entirely trust the little bugger. Make no mistake – the Bills aren’t a good football team. But they’re being undervalued by odds makers this week and I’ll gladly take the five points with the home team. Ryan Fitzpatrick breathed some life into Buffalo’s offense last Sunday in New England and while he’ll face a much better defense this weekend, divisional games are generally pretty tight.
THE PICK: BILLS +5
Bengals at. Browns +3, 1:00PM ET
Neither of these teams is any good, even though the Bengals are currently sporting a winning record. Carson Palmer’s game is shaky at best right now and I don’t think a turnaround is coming. Peyton Hillis was an absolute beast last Sunday in Baltimore and if he runs like that again this weekend, he may open things up for Seneca Wallace in the passing game. I always see value in the home team getting points and seeing as how the Bengals aren’t a very scary 2-1, I like Cleveland to get its first win of the year.
THE PICK: BROWNS +3
Colts at. Jaguars +7, 4:05PM ET
For some reason, no matter how good or poorly they’re playing, the Jaguars always seem to give the Colts issues. Last year, the Jags hung with Indy twice and while David Garrard is playing like the second coming of Joey Harrington, the key is Maurice Jones-Drew. We all remember what Arian Foster did to the Colts’ defense in Week 1 and if Jones-Drew can have even half the amount of success as the Texans’ back did that day, then Jacksonville will be able to keep the game close this Sunday. This is also the second time in as many weeks that the Colts have to travel and they’re coming off a game in which they allowed Kyle Orton to throw for 476 yards. I don’t think the Jags win, but I could see a 24-20 finish, or somewhere around there.
THE PICK: JAGUARS +7