Oct. 21, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) makes a catch in the end zone over New Orleans Saints cornerback Corey White (24) but comes down out of bounds late in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

First Pass: A Look at My Thoughts on the Early Games:

Okay folks, last week was one of “those” weeks…then again, more underdogs won than favorites; some of which I picked correctly (Seattle over New England, Miami over St. Louis, Washington over Minnesota) and others I blew completely – like Houston crushing Green Bay…the result was exactly backwards haha…but hey, it happens, and I tend to stick my neck out a lot.

Seattle at San Francisco: – I start the week 1-0 as this one went just like many had thought it would. Woot!

old news. Win.

Tennessee at Buffalo:
The Titans had an offensive explosion last week when they had 26 at home, beating the Steelers by 3. The Steelers have lost their edge and the Titans really don’t have their own yet. Buffalo is able to run the ball, but keep their best back, CJ Spiller, under wraps with Fred Jackson healthy. The Titans are 28th and the Bills are 31st in defense. Surprisingly, the Titans – WITH CJ2K – are dead last in rushing. Buffalo would be wise to run it 50 times – 25 to Fred, 25 to CJ.
Bills by 13

Titans won, 35-34 – Loss

They didn’t, and they lost. Their defense really is a train wreck, too, and after all that money they spent in the offseason… and the rushing duo was getting 7.9 for Fred and 5.8 yards per game for Spiller. They ran it 21 times combined while tossing it 35. Idiots.

Dallas at Carolina:
The Cowboys have an 8-game winning streak against the Panthers, but both offenses have been in a funk for most of the season. The Cowboys’ defense is actually vulnerable to the type of attack Chudzinski can run…if only he can put it together along with the rest of the team. Newton will find the passing difficult, as the ‘boys still have the best and deepest group of corners in the game. Until I see the Panthers put together a full-game effort like they did against Atlanta (despite the loss), I can’t go with the home team here.
Cowboys by 14

Cowboys won, 19-14 – Win

About as expected. Carolina out-sloppified the Cowboys today. More dropped passes, missed blocks, poor execution overall have de-clawed the Panthers’ offense. It’s really not Newton’s fault – I am beginning to question this team’s coaching staff now. Rookies shouldn’t be getting flagged for 3 (at least) false starts 6 games in. That’s like…first-week-rookie-school stuff. Dropped passes, getting rushed/hurried all the time…either let Newton take off with it 15-20 times a game and ditch the read-option or teach the guys to execute, one!

Oct 14, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) warms up before the start of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at M

Baltimore at Houston:
Here we have the best game of the week – the only two AFC teams with winning records. Yep, the AFC has only these two teams above .500. The NFC has 3 in the NFC West alone and 7 total. I think this one will be a high-scoring affair…injuries on D have really softened that middle for Arian Foster and/or Ben Tate to run in, and Houston wasn’t able to pressure AR-12 last week. Flacco should get his looks and Rice could have a monster game. I like the Ravens in a see-saw game which should come down to the wire. Also, all the “experts” seem to be picking the Texans at home, so I’m going with…
Ravens by 4

Texans won, 43-13 – Loss

I’m an idiot. I went contrary to what should have been an easy “W” just to be contrary on this one. The Texans’ D looked good which means the Packers really ARE “awake” now; filed for future reference…

Cleveland at Indianapolis:
With Indy’s coach battling cancer and a very young team, the Colts are nearly impossible to predict. The world-beaters could show up and dominate or the bottom-feeders could show up and “suck for Luck.” Truth is, the Colts cannot stop the run and have missed MLB Pat Angerer all year. The Browns should have the ability to run…if Trent Richardson can go. The Browns’ injury list looks more like a complete roster these days, and LB Scott Fujita may never play again. That said, Joe Hayden is back, but the Colts play better at home. This game is the one I struggle with the most this week because of Richardson’s uncertain (questionable) status. If he plays effectively, the Browns should win as Weeden is showing a lot of improvement over his first few games in which he struggled. Either way, stay the heck away from this game in the “Eliminator” this week!
Colts by 3 – simply by virtue of playing at home.

Colts won, 17-13 – Win

Trent couldn’t go and the Browns kept it close. AND at least I got one of those freakin’ “Eliminator” calls right for a change…yay me.

Arizona at Minnesota:
The Cards are on the downswing after their rocket-launch start. They have a lot of issues on their offensive line and Kevin Kolb is listed as out for the game. Red John Skelton starts? If that holds up, Minnesota should dominate…especially if Adrian Peterson plays. First team to 11 wins this one, and I’ll be shocked if the Cards have 11 at the end of the game…including a defensive TD!
Vikings by 21

Vikings won, 21-14 – Win

Adrian Peterson dominated, so the Vikings let him. They about messed it up with that second half but they held on at least. Note to self – Vikings on the downtrend again it looks like.

Washington at New York Giants:
Well, the Giants’ defensive linemen showed up last week against the Niners – not an easy team to have a ‘coming out party’ against. The Giants’ own o-line hasn’t given up a sack in the last 3 games, and they appear to be peaking as a team. The ‘skins have RG3, who should make enough plays to keep things competitive, but he can’t do it alone. The Redskins’ defense stinks. The only saving grace is that the Giants seem more vulnerable at home.
Giants by 8

Giants won, 27-23 – Win

How the heck does Eli manage to do this? A 77-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz with 73 seconds left in the game? Bring in Trump to fire the safeties!

Sep 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) kicks off to start the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Seahawks 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE

Green Bay at St. Louis:
The Rams are more of an upstart team than people realize. Yeah, they’re .500 now but have shown signs of putting together a very good defensive unit. Too bad their offense is still rather anemic. The Packers are beginning to awaken and historically the Rams haven’t played them well recently. Don’t forget the Rams’ best offensive weapon, rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein.
Packers by 24

Packers won, 30-20 – Win

Kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 50 and a 43 yarder in the first half. Just another day at the office all around, pretty much. The Rams’ defense is for real, holding an AR-12-powered and rejuvenated offense to “only” 30 points. The Packers’ offense is for real having scored that many against a good defense.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay:
A 1-win team at a 2-win team. What a yawner. The Saints’ offense is lethal to opponents and their defense is lethal to themselves. Look for the Bucs to grind rookie Doug Martin up the middle at least 25 times and maybe even give it to Legarette Blount some. Then they’ll pass off of play-action. It goes a bit against my raisin’ to do this, but…
Buccaneers by 4

Saints won, 35-28 – Loss

Vincent Jackson’s franchise-record 216 yards receiving still wasn’t enough for a win? Doesn’t surprise me. I had high hopes for Tampa Bay after they beat – of course, Carolina – but only have beaten the Chiefs since. Neither team changed their stock any here, really, because of the quality of opponent.

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