What a difference a week makes. 7 days ago, the Bears defense was an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, the offense had improved to the point they were not an affront to football, and the Bears were staking their claim amongst the elite in the NFC.
The shellacking at the hands of the Saints was pretty dismal, and with the offensive line playing musical chairs to fill in for injured starters, it’s pretty easy to see how this game could get away from the Bears early. That said, the D has always been good at containing Rodgers and his explosive offenses; in the Aaron Rodgers era, I believe Green Bay has only scored more then 20 points of offense on the Bears once… maybe twice? This game will likely come down to the Bears’ ability to handle the pressure the Packers are sure to bring. You can only imagine Dom Capers and his defensive line sitting in his office in Green Bay, watching the tape of that embarrassing second half and salivating like a pack of hungry wolves. Normally, I’d think the Bears have what it takes to stick with Green Bay, but with Lance Louis and Gabe Carimi out, I’m not as confident.
PICK: Packers (-4) over BEARS
BENGALS (-3) over 49ers
This line has steadily moved toward the Bengals all week. A lot will depend on whether Andy Dalton’s 1st game (10/15, 81 yards) or 2nd game (27/41, 322 yards) is the real deal. San Francisco’s defense performed well against Tarvaris Jackson in Week 1 but was shredded by Tony Romo last week. Lots of variables, but I like the Bengals at home.
PANTHERS (-4) over Jaguars
Cam Newton has been impressive two straight weeks. Jacksonville calls Blaine Gabbert’s number.
Lions (-4) over VIKINGS
Not only are the Lions actually good, it appears to me after years of frustration and being the NFL’s whipping boy, they have developed some kind of bullied complex and are in “Fuck You” mode. You could probably add 10 points to the line and I would still take Detroit.
Broncos (+7) over TITANS
I don’t believe enough in the Titans for a 7-point win, but I do want to see Denver keep losing so we can expedite Tim Tebow’s stint as their starting quarterback so he can fail miserably and I can stop hearing about how people want to see Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback in Denver.
Dolphins (+3) over BROWNS
EAGLES (-9) over Giants
No surprise its hard to find anyone taking bets on this game, what with the Giants’ rash of injuries and, oh yeah, that Mike Vick guy’s status uncertain for Sunday as well. I’ll just make the pick that Philadelphia walks away with this win easily, but don’t hold me accountable if you see Mike Kafka under center Sunday afternoon at the Linc.
Saints (-4) over TEXANS
Houston looks like the feel good story of the early season (first play-off appearance ever???) but the Saints will pick them apart.
Patriots (-9) over BILLS
Someone give me a reason to pick against New England.
Chiefs (+15) over CHARGERS
This one is a struggle. Yeah, I know the Chargers are coming off an emotional loss, and they’re at home, and the Chiefs are terrible… but 15 points is just too much for me to give to them, the notoriously slow starters with Norv Turner as their head coach. I’m sorry.
RAMS (+4) over Ravens
Now that Rams fans have been educated how to cheer at a football game, I would assume they can at least hang with a Ravens team that looks like it’s going to be streaky again.
RAIDERS (+3.5) over Jets
Is Mark Sanchez the most overrated quarterback in the league? Yes.
BUCS (-1) over Falcons
Cardinals (-3.5) over SEAHAWKS
Tarvaris Jackson. Tarvaris Jackson. Tarvaris Jackson…
Steelers (-10.5) over COLTS
Man the Colts are bad…
Can’t seem to find any line for the Redskins/Cowboys Monday Night game, I suspect we’ll know more if Tony Romo’s playing status is ever decided.
Last Week: 6-8-2
2011 Season: 6-8-2