Well, it finally happened. Thursday Night Football beat me to the punch. Ah well. On to the picks.
This week, the Eagles host the Lions.
Lots of people - myself included - expected good things from the Lions in 2012. So far, that's not really panning out. A 1-3 start was not what any of us expected.
On the other hand, they did beat a Rams team that's outperforming expectations so far. And, although one of their losses was to the Titans, the other two were the 49ers and the surprisingly good Vikings.
And they still have Megatron, and, as a result, are #2 in passing yards in the NFL. And Calvin hasn't even been having a great year so far.
The Lions are coming off their bye, and you know they don't want to drop to 1-4, particularly with the Bears and Vikings both coming out hot this year.
In the meantime, they are playing at the Linc. And I have to ask: are the Eagles becoming a team where playing at home matters? For a long time, it really didn't seem to. So far this year, they've played 1 bad team (the Browns) on the road, 2 good teams (the Cardinals and the Steelers) on the road, and 2 good teams (the Ravens and the Giants) at home. They beat the bad team on the road, won the two home games, and lost the two other road games.
To me, it all comes down to this: the Lions can put up points. And they have a top 10 defense. If the Eagles can manage to find another gear for the offense (try "second," guys) and figure out a way to contain Calvin Johnson, they should win this one. Those are both big "ifs." But I'm counting on homefield to help the Eagles get a narrow win (what else is new?) over the visitors.
In the other matchups...
Steelers at Titans: I don't care how banged up the Steelers are, there's no way they lose this game. The Titans have Chris Johnson and... [crickets]. See?
Raiders at Falcons: The next time I predict that the Raiders are "going to be good this year" because they're "really turning the corner," could someone please remind me of this year? And 2003-2009? Also, Falcons.
Cowboys at Ravens: The Cowboys have had two weeks to stew over getting stomped at home by the Bears on Monday Night Football. Which has got to be bad for your mental outlook. And even if they aren't already f-ed right now, they will be by 4 pm Sunday. Have you seen Ray Lewis's pre-game speeches? Tony Romo's going to be get killed. For real. Not metaphorical. Ravens.
Bengals at Browns: Poor Browns - another week, another loss. Bengals.
Rams at Dolphins: Both of these teams are outperforming expectations so far this year, but the Rams aren't going to be at home in the dome, so I've got Ryan Tannehill and Fins.
Colts at Jets: Have I mentioned lately that the Jets are f-ed? The Jets are so f-ed TO has been tweeting to try to get them to pick him up, and it's not a completely insane idea. Yes, it's that bad. And it's going to be worse after the Colts beat them at home this week.
Chiefs at Buccaneers: Call me crazy, but I'm picking the Chiefs again. Third time's the charm? Don't let me down, fellas.
Bills at Cardinals: It's the Cards turn to whip up on the Bills.
Patriots at Seahawks: Now this is an interesting matchup. East Coast teams traditionally have trouble going west, and the Seahawks are pretty damn good at home even in years when they aren't that good overall. And this year, they're pretty good overall. We have the top-ranked D taking on the top-ranked O. Which should make for an interesting game. I'm really tempted to call the Seahawks, but I don't think they're going to be able to shut down the Pats completely, and I'm not sure they can keep up. Pats.
Giants at 49ers: 49ers. They're pretty much the Terminator this year.
Vikings at Redskins: The Redskins, unlike the Seahawks and Steelers (and maybe now the Eagles?) have NO homefield mojo. And this week's not going to improve that. Vikings.
Did I just pick all the NFC East teams other than the Eagles to lose? Yes, I did. Which would be awesome, both from a standings perspective and from a picks perspective. Crossing my fingers that I'm right.
Packers at Texans: Texans all day, baby. The Packers are banged up, and it's getting worse, and the Texans defense is outstanding.
Broncos at Chargers: Broncos. Also, SECOND MNF game? Already? Could y'all stop kissing Peyton's ass for one damn second?
On bye: Bears, Jaguars, Panthers, Saints