By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
So after a very mediocre 5-11 start to my picks in 2012, I went back to the drawing board to find some improvement in my predictions this week. But like the great Tony Romo once said, if last week was the worst thing to happen in my life, I’ll be ok. Let’s get to the picks.
Chicago at Green Bay
Analysis: The Pack have one of the worst defenses in football, and more and more people are finally taking note of that because their offense is coming back to Earth and not scoring every time they touch the ball. The short week favors the team coming off a rough loss, because of how much they want to erase that from their memories, but Chicago is dreaming big this season. With a road win at Lambeau, the Bears would feel pretty good about themselves after two weeks.
Baltimore at Philadelphia
Analysis: I am banking on Mike Vick not looking that horrendous two weeks in a row. I mean, the $100 million dollar man can’t look that bad again, right?
Tampa Bay at New York
Pick: Tampa Bay
Analysis: After watching this Buc defense pester Cam Newton for four quarters last Sunday, Tampa coach Greg Schiano has this team believing in itself again. It’s going to be tough to do in the Meadowlands, but I like the Bucs in this upset.
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Analysis: The Bengals looked incredibly awful against the Ravens on Monday night, but Brandon Weeden and his five QB rating looked even worse. The Bengals are just the better team and will prove it in a good ole fashioned AFC North slugfest.
Minnesota at Indianapolis
Analysis: Adrian Peterson looked healthy. Adrian Peterson looked fresh. Adrian Peterson looked dangerous again. Rest of the league got scared again.
Arizona at New England
Pick: New England
Analysis: The only thing you should watch for is to just see if this is still a reasonable score after one half of play. Tom Brady and that broken nose of his won’t let those Cardinals hang around for too long. This one will be a blow out.
Kansas City at Buffalo
Pick: Kansas City
Analysis: In a battle of two teams that I predicted would have huge weeks and then turned around and laid down completely, I will continue to stick with those little Chiefs to pull off a road win and get back to .500. If you like offense, find this game on DirecTV because both teams will get in the low-30s in scoring.
Houston at Jacksonville
Analysis: Houston seemed to come out very slow last week at home versus Miami. Maybe they knew they were infinitely better than the Dolphins, but Houston hasn’t done enough yet to come out in games and start that slow and methodical. This could be a game for three quarters, but the better Texan team will emerge victorious.
New Orleans at Carolina
Analysis: Could those Saints really start 0-2? I mean, who thought that rookie RGIII would walk into that dome and put up 40 points? I like Cam Newton to have a much better game than he had on the road last week, especially since he is a very similar offensive threat to Mr. Griffin III.
Oakland at Miami
Analysis: Seriously CBS, how hard is it to get a Lauren Tannehill camera shot? We all know she is there.
Washington at St. Louis
Pick: St. Louis
Analysis: After watching 60 minutes of that Rams-Lions game, I am convinced that St. Louis cheated. Ok, I am being stupid, but they did play out of their mind defensively. Picking off Matt Stafford three times is no joke, and their entire defensive backfield seemed to be on top of their game, minus the final series of the game where they allowed the game-winning touchdown. RGIII will have a little more difficult time getting the ball down the field on those deep routes, meaning that Sam Bradford and the Rams might bring the Heisman winner back to Earth a bit.
Dallas at Seattle
Analysis: Dallas fans will hate me. This is one of those games that seem like the Cowboys are just so much better than the Seahawks, which is why the Hawks will win it by a late field goal. Russell Wilson didn’t play great on Sunday versus Arizona, but he will benefit from playing behind that insane crowd of the 12th man.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh
Analysis: Listen, I am not saying that Tim Tebow’s 11 yards of rushing weren’t significant, but that’s an entire first down the Jets wouldn’t have had without No. 15. Can you say difference maker?
Tennessee at San Diego
Pick: San Diego
Analysis: The Chargers were pretty good on Monday night. The Titans were pretty awful on Sunday afternoon. Expert analysis you can’t get anywhere else folks.
Detroit at San Francisco
Pick: San Francisco
Analysis: This is my game of the week, hands down. As a man who supports the Honolulu blue and white, I would love for the Leos to walk into San Fran and grab a huge road win on national TV. But I saw a 49ers team completely dominate one of the favorites in the NFC just a week ago, and the Niners have much more big game experience than the Lions do. The difference will be Lions running back Kevin Smith and whether or not he can do enough on the ground to keep Detroit a multi-dimensional threat.
Denver at Atlanta
Analysis: What an intriguing Monday night game this week, nothing like those two stinkers last week. The matchup of Matt Ryan versus Peyton Manning is very interesting to me. But if I had to choose which signal caller can make the big play when it matters most, I will go with No. 18 every time.