I am very sad that Greg Oden has to have microfracture knee surgery. We as fans of the NBA can only hope that he will be ready to go come fall 2008. He is still only a 19 year old kid, so his recovery will hopefully be swift. If he can get to game shape for the 2008 season, the Blazers are going to be sitting pretty with Roy in his 3rd year, another top 5 pick and now Oden in the middle. Oden is a good personality and has a touch of innocence about him, and the NBA needs that desperately.
Last week, I went 9-5-2 with my picks. The fans should start calling into question Jack Del Rio's sanity. The man has a great 1-2 punch of Mojo and Fred Taylor. He ran them 13 times last week. My expectations for the Rams are now lowered since Orlando Pace is injured. Geez Orlando, you think not going to minicamp has anything to do with your injuries? This will mess with their offense, and we know the Rams are built aroudn the timing passing attack and a steady diet of Steven Jackson. If the Iggles offense is a no show this week, do we have to strenuously chastise Andy Reid for never picking up a solid, dependable option for McNabb? Lots of questions to be answered, and the most important is "Will the Chargers beat the Patriots in New England?"
NEW ENGLAND -3 over Chargers
No. They will not. If this were in San Diego, I would say yes they could. I think the Chargers match up better offensively against the Patriots than they did the Bears, so I do not doubt their ability to put up points. My concern would be with Randy Moss. Hold on, the Chargers played Moss the last few years and handled him well, so maybe that is an overblown worry. I hate the Pats and would wish for nothing more than a Chargers victory, but going against the Pats at home is a tough thing to do. Here's one question to Norv Turner: When the Bears were shutting LT down, why didn't you bring Turner in as the RB for a 2 RB set or use LT as a slot receiver? It would have worked well. My only comment on the Belicheck videotaping situation is: He went a step too far in getting a competitive advantage and should be punished. This does not taint the past accomplishments, but it further illustrates what an asshole he is.
STEELERS -11 over Bills
I like the new head coach for the Steelers. Seems really cool. I also like how the Bills played the Broncos extremely tough. Their defense played pretty hard, which I think will keep the game a low scoring affair. The problem for the Bills is scoring. They just can't put points on the board. The Losman experiment is probably in its last season.
Bengals -7 over BROWNS
Bengals will put up 30+ points in this game. This will be another horrible season for the Browns. They will fire Romeo Crennel. His replacement will then inject some new blood into the team and they will have a decent '08 followed by a playoff appearance in '09 or '10. Crennel will have laid the groundwork for this rise, but sadly, not be there to propser from it.
Falcons +11 over JAGUARS
Line seems a bit high with Garrard at QB for the Jags. Last week, I picked the Falcons and completely forgot that they rely on the run and were playing against the best run defense in the NFL last year. Bad idea. It will also become obvious as the year progresses that the Falcons RBs were effective in recent years because Mike Vick opening up the middle for them.
Packers +2.5 over GIANTS
No team with Jared Lorenzen as the QB should be favored unless it is in a pie eating contest. The Giants are maybe a few weeks away from shutting Eli & Jacobs down for the season and just going for the high draft pick. Wouldn't a 0-4 start do that? The Giants GM is about as bad as you can get. He did nothing to improve the defense, he let Strahan play with them all preseason and training camp, he did not address the secondary problems in the draft, and he's stuck with a horrible first half schedule. If they start out 2-6, this team will give up not realizing how easy their second half of the schedule is. They will give up.
Texans +7 over PANTHERS
I am a believer in this Texans team. They could shock some teams, and expect Schaub to do well before he has finished 6 starts. Once he has 6 games under his belt, teams will make adjustments for him. He is in the sweet spot right now. I love their coach, Kubiak, and I wish him the best of success. The Panthers need to use Deangelo Williams more. The kid has skills and could really lighten the load off of Steve Smith's shoulders (so would using Jarrett).
TITANS +7 over Colts
I'm going with the Titans because these games played two tight matches last year, and the Titans do not seem to fear the Colts. The Titans will probably rack up 200 rushing yards against the Colts and limit the Colts' posessions. Despite this, I still think the Colts will put up 7 an awful lot more than they put up 3. The Colts also have nothing to worry about with pass defense, so they can stack the line with 8 guys. I'd even go with stacking 9 since Vince Young threw for 78 yards last week. Let's face it: he sucks as a passer.
Saints -3 over BUCS
Sean Payton's men have had 10 days of rest for this game. Payton will have all his Jeff Garcia research down, and I do not see Garcia having a big game against the Saints defense. Deuce and Reggie will probably run a bit more this week than they did last week.
49ers +3 over RAMS
I am standing behind my statement above where I call into question the Rams ability to win now that Pace is injured. This really opens the door for those lame ass Seahawks. If the 49ers are going to contend for the playoffs, they need to see better decision making from Alex "Genius" Smith.
Cowboys -3.5 over DOLPHINS
This line is only 3.5 points? Holy shit! The Dolphins are in store for a bottom feeder season, and they can have their pick of QBs in next year's draft. Good luck. The Cowboys offense looked great last week. Their D, not so much. Losing Ferguson hurts their run defense, but the pass defense looked bad last week since they were missing their no. 1 corner (Newman). If they can rest Newman an extra week or 2, they could have him at 100% for the week they play the Pats. That's when they really need him. Of note, the Dolphins are 8-22 against the spread at home in their last 30 home games.
LIONS -3 over Vikings
Vikings strength is its run defense. Lions strength is passing the ball. Vikings offense cannot score points. It's as simple as that.
BEARS -12 over Chiefs
Can the Chiefs win 4 games this year? I only put them 3rd in their division because the Raiders are so awful. The Bears defense will suffocate them. I don't see the Chiefs scoring much of anything this week, just like last week. The Chiefs defense looked weak versus the Texans, and this could be a Sexy Rexy 100+ QB rating game, which will just anger Bears fans as they get on the Rexcoaster for this season.
Seahawks -2.5 over CARDINALS
I dislike the Seahawks. I truly do. They sit in the laughingstock division of the NFC, which is saying a lot. The nearest competition lost their Pro Bowl OT. The two other teams in their division have QBs that are still young and learning the NFL game. Age will catch up with them someday, and it might just have to wait for next year.
RAVENS -10 over Jets
This is an anger game for the Ravens. I do not care if Boller's the QB, he has to be better than Steve McNair who was overthrowing all of his WRs. He was throwing high on almost every single throw. The Ravens could have won last week if Billick had just run the ball at the goalline. The Ravens traded 2 picks for McGahee, they get to the 1 yard line and they don't give him the ball. What? My concern with the Ravens is the Ogden injury. How fast cna he come back? Can they design roll outs for Boller to take advantage of his athleticism. He's not a statue like McNair. He has wheels.
BRONCOS -10 over Raiders
I have no faith in this Raiders team if they are going to give up 35+ points to the Lions at home. No faith.
Redskins +7.5 over Iggles
Here's my rationale: Skins defense is solid. Skins rushing attack is solid. Iggles rushing attack is bad. Iggles receivers are, once again, bad. This all rests on McNabb. McNabb is not the spring chicken he used to be, and now is a year removed from knee surgery. The Redskins have the speed on defense to contain him. They also have hard hitting safeties who are going to scare the daylights out of Avant and Reggie Brown. Reggie Brown can't be a receiver in the NFC East if he is going to flinch everytime a defender is nearby. The great thing about this game is that all Skins fans will get excited by their 2-0 start. Calm down, you still suck.