With this week we are almost halfway through the NFL season. This is the lightest schedule of the year to date because six teams - Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, the Giants, and Philadelphia - will be enjoying their bye week. Here’s how i see the games for the 26 active teams turning out:
Miami at Cincinnati - I don’t think Miami’s 3-3 record is particularly indicative of their play - they have played a tough schedule and looked solid. I think Cincinnati’s 2-4 record, on the other hand is, if anything, flattering. This is a flawed team that finds new ways to disappoint and show how they don’t care every week. Take the Dolphins.
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Jacksonville at Dallas - This is a QB mess. David Garrard is reportedly being rushed back into service for this game because the geriatric Todd Bouman injured his finger in relief play last week. Jon Kitna will take over for the injured Tony Romo for Dallas. Dallas has been a mess all year. Jacksonville looked good for a long time, but has been a major disappointment the last couple of weeks. Flip a coin. I guess I take the Cowboys.
Washington at Detroit - If such a thing is possible, the Lions are playing decent football for a 1-5 team. On the flip side, Washington is playing ugly football for a team with a winning record. Still, Washington has an edge in several spots on the field - especially if Albert Haynesworth plays even half as well as he did last week. Take the Redskins.
Buffalo at Kansas City - I’m not sure where Buffalo’s impressive performance came from last week against Baltimore. I do have to admit that I am impressed by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 102 QB rating on the season as well. Still, they are on the road against a team that is feeling extremely confident, and this is a very tough spot for them. Take the Chiefs.
Carolina at St. Louis - Carolina is a much better team with Matt Moore at the helm. Still, they are on the road against a surprisingly solid team - albeit one that never should have let Tampa Bay come back and win last week. Take the Rams.
Green Bay at New York Jets - I still can’t feel entirely comfortable with the New York team - I just don’t think that they are as good as they appear. Green Bay is a flawed and beaten up team, though, and the Jets have had an extra week to get ready for this one. Take the Jets.
Denver at San Francisco - I have officially given up on San Francisco. They have disappointed me too many times and are completely dead to me now. Take the Broncos.
Tennessee at San Diego - How in the world do you deal with this San Diego team? It seemed like the answer was that they were strong at home and disappointing on the road, but then they laid a massive egg at home last time out. There is a lot I don’t like about Tennessee, but they are 3-0 on the road, and I refuse to trust San Diego. Take the Titans.
Seattle at Oakland - The Oakland offensive explosion last week was odd - to say the least. I can only assume that some of the confidence from that game is going to carry forward to this week. Seattle is a solid team - better than I thought they would be - but they haven’t traveled great this year. Take the Raiders.
Minnesota at New England - As I write this I don’t know who will be starting at QB for Minnesota. My hunch is that it won’t be Favre, and that’s a very good thing for this team. With or without him, though, New England is significantly better, and they are at home. Take the Patriots.
Tampa Bay at Arizona - I have absolutely no idea how the Bucs have four wins. I really doubted they would get that many all year. Not only do they have the better record in this game, but they also have the far more settled QB situation. Tampa Bay has won two road games already. As crazy as it seems, let go with a third. Take the Bucs.
Pittsburgh at New Orleans - The Saints are a mess - they just lost at home to Cleveland. They should have to fold after that. Pittsburgh is playing reasonably well, and their defense should be a tough matchup for a team struggling to find their way. Take the Steelers.
Houston at Indianapolis - Houston can sweep the season series against the Colts with a win here. I can’t believe that they will. Take the Colts.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he has shown a profit in eight of nine weeks for his NFL handicapping and college football picks. He sees some weak NFL point spreads on the board this week and is very excited to extend his 27-11 current NFL run. Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 to find out about a free one-week football package from Sharpe or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choice (new clients only).