Atlanta at Detroit
Johan: Look out NFL, Michael Vick is on fire. Actually, his arm is on fire, not just his legs this time. With seven passing touchdowns in the last two games, Vick finally looks like the quarterback the Falcons envisioned when they traded up to pick him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, mobile with a rocket arm. Look for this to continue against the Lions, who are not stopping or defeating anybody. The Falcons win easily.
Oscar: Who would have known? Michael Vick could actually throw a football and win. It is nice to see the most talented athlete finally becoming the quarterback he should be. No matter how much the defense is struggling, it is too difficult to defend this team, so they will get in the end zone often. The Falcons get the win on the road against the Lions.
Cincinnati at Baltimore
J: The Bengals started off the season promising, winning three straight games, but have since folded and do not look as dangerous as many predicted. The offense can score, but their defense has trouble stopping opponents. The Ravens improved their offense after head coach Brian Billick started calling the plays, but there is no secret that their defense is the main reason they win their games, like it will be this week.
O: The Bengals are having a rough season. The offense isn’t as effective as it was last season, and the defense is not making the big plays of a year ago. The Ravens’ defense is back and will pressure Carson Palmer into throwing some interceptions. Expect the Ravens to shut down the Bengals for a home win.
Dallas at Washington
J: Tony Romo and T.O. look like they have better chemistry than the flamboyant receiver had with Drew Bledsoe, and that will go a long way. As long as T.O. has faith in his quarterback he will play his best. Washington has no real excuse for their poor start this season and they will have no excuse after the Cowboys walk off the field smiling on Sunday.
O: Is Tony Romo the savior for the Cowboys’ season? Maybe, but there are still plenty of games to go in the season, so Cowboys fans shouldn’t get too excited. But they will definitely be excited after Romo leads his team to a victory over the Redskins in Washington.
Green Bay at Buffalo
J: The Packers had two running backs rush for more than 100 yards last week against the Cardinals and nothing says they cannot do it again this week against the Bills. The Bills’ offense has trouble staying on the field and that will wear down their own defense. As long as J.P. Losman is the quarterback for Buffalo, their playoff hopes will be, well, lost. Packers win.
O: It is nice to see Brett Favre having fun and actually playing well on the field. Expect him to continue that against a Bills team that has struggled throughout the season. Ahman Green and Favre will lead the Packers to a victory on the road.
Houston at N.Y. Giants
J: The Texans could not even beat a bad Titans team with a rookie quarterback last week and thereby lost my trust and I will never pick them again. The Giants look nice, though. Plaxico Burress has already made enough ridiculous catches this season to fill out a whole highlight show and many of them were touchdowns. He should have a couple more this week against the lousy Texans’ secondary.
O: How can a team beat one of the best defenses in the league and then lose to one of the worst teams? Ask the Texans, they’d know the answer. Giants are coming off an important victory over the Bucs and will continue to win to keep their lead in the NFC East.
Kansas City at St. Louis
J: This is a tough one to pick. The way Larry Johnson played last week makes me want to go with the Chiefs, but if the Rams are good enough to put up 327 passing yards on the Chargers’ defense, then they can definitely do it to the Chiefs. Trent Green is supposed to be back this week, which can be good and bad. Bottom line, the Chiefs will win this one thanks to LJ’s running.
O: One of the most interesting match ups of the week, with a Chiefs offense that has Larry Johnson being unstoppable and a Rams offense that always finds a way to put into Torry Holt’s hands. Both teams are similar in style of play, but I’ll give the edge to the Rams since they’re at home.
Miami at Chicago
J: Don’t you just love no-brainers? This could get uglier than Chicago’s win last week against the 49ers, which ended 41-10. Bears all the way.
O: What can I say about this game? Did anyone watch the Bears humiliate the 49ers last week? Bears win big at home.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
J: The Saints will bounce back from last week’s poor performance against the Ravens. Tampa’s offense cannot produce anything in the air or on the ground and will not be able to keep up with New Orleans.
O: The Saints are looking to bounce back after losing to the Ravens, and will struggle to do it against an improving Buccaneers defense. Reggie Bush was the difference maker last game, and his sprained ankle will prevent him from making a difference in this game. Bucs win at home.
Tennessee at Jacksonville
J: The Jaguars play one game good, then the next horrible. Even though they won last week against the Eagles, I am hoping they will be able to put the Titans away early and use Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to run out the clock. Jacksonville wins it.
O: The Titans are enjoying a nice little two-game winning streak, and the Jaguars are happy to have their defense back, holding the Eagles to only six points last week. They should be able to hold off the Titans as well. Jaguars win big at home.
Minnesota at San Francisco
J: Brad Johnson looked really shaky on Monday night against the Patriots, but this week he will face an easier opponent in the 49ers and will pull out a win on the road.
O: The Vikings lost bad to the Patriots, but should easily be able to bounce back against the 49ers’ defense. Expect the Vikings to find success in the running game to take pressure off of Brad Johnson. The Vikings leave the Bay area with a win.
Cleveland at San Diego
J: Even without Shawne Merriman causing havoc on defense for the next four games because of his suspension, the Chargers will still be a tough team. The Browns will not be able to stop Tomlinson and the Chargers will get a victory at home.
O: Having LaDanian Tomlinson on my fantasy team would solve all my problems, and it seems to have solved any offensive problems the Chargers had too. He’s going to get the ball a lot more often, and against the Browns, expect him to find the end zone often.
Denver at Pittsburgh
J: Denver’s offense finally started scoring last week. It was not enough to beat the Colts, but at least they were scoring on offense. The Steelers must feel like they are in a bad dream or something. Last week they lost to the Raiders after allowing just 98 total yards, but Ben Roethlisberger threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. This week will not be much better, going up against the tough Broncos. At least they will not have a long trip home after their loss.
O: The defending Super Bowl champions are in trouble. They lost to the Raiders?THE RAIDERS! They can’t blow easy games like that, and they can’t afford to lose anymore games. The Broncos look to correct their defensive mistakes from last week, but the Steelers’ offense will find a way to win and stay alive. Steelers get a surprising win at home.
Indianapolis at New England
J: Peyton Manning is like an offensive coordinator on the field and there are not many things he cannot do. One thing he has yet to accomplish is beat a Tom Brady-led Patriots team in New England. This week it will happen, though. The Patriots are still a great team, but not as great as before. Colts win.
O: The match-up of ALL match-ups. Johan says he’s going with Peyton Manning. I guess he forgot about Tom Brady’s three Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady will out-stage Man
ning, giving the Colts their first loss of the season.
Oakland at Seattle
J: If Oakland is going to win again it is going to be because of their defense. Seattle is not very impressive right now, but I still think they will be able to pull out a win against the Raiders.
O: I can’t believe I am saying this, but the Raiders are not all bad. And they should not have too much trouble against a Seahawks team without their starting quarterback and running back. Raiders get a win on the road.