Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Pick Pats to Hand Broncos Their First Loss

New England isn't going to repeat 2007 and go undefeated this year. But I think the Patriots will see to it this afternoon that the Denver Broncos don't go undefeated, either.

I made the Broncos my upset special last week, and they came through for me. But now, at 4–0, I think their streak will come to an end. They may go on to win the AFC's wimpy West, but they won't have a perfect record.

There are a few exceptions, but mostly, this is something of a lackluster week in the NFL.
  • Cincinnati (3–1) at Baltimore (3–1) — Are the Bengals for real? We may get something of an answer to that question this week when they travel to Baltimore. I believe Baltimore will win this battle of the 3–1 teams.

  • Oakland (1–3) at New York Giants (4–0) — Is there even a chance that the Raiders can beat the Giants? Umm, nope.

  • Dallas (2–2) at Kansas City (0–4) — I correctly predicted the Cowboys would lose to the Broncos last week. But I really can't see Dallas losing this week. The Chiefs are pathetic.

  • Washington (2–2) at Carolina (0–3) — Will the Panthers win their first game this week? Even though they haven't won a game yet, they're 3½–point picks over the Redskins, who lost to Detroit a couple of weeks ago. I'll go with Carolina.

  • Minnesota (4–0) at St. Louis (0–4) — This should be a sure thing. I see no way that the Rams can beat the Vikings.

  • Tampa Bay (0–4) at Philadelphia (2–1) — This one should also be a sure thing. The Eagles should be rested and ready for the Bucs.

  • Pittsburgh (2–2) at Detroit (1–3) — I really can't see the Lions, who only recently won a game for the first time since 2007, beating the defending world champions ... even if the game is in Detroit. I'll go with the Steelers.

  • Cleveland (0–4) at Buffalo (1–3) — Cleveland ought to cover the 6–point spread ... but not by enough to win the game. I'll take Buffalo.

  • Atlanta (2–1) at San Francisco (3–1) — A couple of years ago, this would have been an unappealing game. But both teams are better now, and it should be fairly entertaining. I'll take the 49ers, but if I was betting on the spread, I'd be tempted to take the 2½–point underdog Falcons.

  • Houston (2–2) at Arizona (1–2) — I'll take Arizona, but only because the Cardinals are at home.

  • New England (3–1) at Denver (4–0) — Some people are already getting worked up about the Broncos. They beat a Cowboys team that isn't as good as a lot of people thought, and now they're playing a Patriots team that is probably better than a lot of people are thinking. Keep in mind, folks, it's October. And I'll take the Patriots, who are favored by 3 points.

  • Jacksonville (2–2) at Seattle (1–3) — I think the Jaguars are capable of winning this game.

  • Indianapolis (4–0) at Tennessee (0–4) — This was a more appealing matchup before the season began. I think the Titans are better than their record indicates, but they continue to live down to expectations.

  • New York Jets (3–1) at Miami (1–3) — This was a more interesting matchup last year. I'll take the Jets.
Last week: 11–3.
Season: 49–13.

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