Everyone loves the Lions so far, including me. They are a very thrilling team to watch. The offense has been great so far and Calvin Johnson is a beast. Unfortunately for them, this is a very tough match-up against the Cowboys. The biggest concern for the Lions is their offensive line and their run defense. The Cowboys are #1 in sacks this year and Felix Jones just averaged 8.2YPC against a much stronger Redskin defense last week. Yes the cowboys squeaked by that win last sunday but that was with tons of injuries, 4 bobbled snaps (ex-cowboy on the redskins knew Romo's snap count), and Romo fresh off a rib injury. Players will only be healthier this week by default and Phil Costa will definitely not have 4 bobbled snaps 2 weeks in a row. Coaches must be on his ass all week about that. The Cowboys weakness last week was also their offensive line as Romo didn't have much time in the pocket and face a much more fierce pass rush in the Lions but with Felix Jones expected to have a solid running day against the Lions below-average run defense, Romo will be in 3rd and short's all day nullifying the Lions great pass D (a little).
Pick: Cowboys PK
Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams
The Redskins have some problems going into this weeks game. First, their run game is non-existant. Tim Hightower just ran for 2.9 YPC against the Cowboys sunday night and will face a pretty similar run defense in the Rams. Rex Grossman continues to show some good throws but also is making some bad decisions as well. Redskins just left a lot of emotion on the field last sunday and came up short losing by 2 against their division rivals. I expect them to be flat against a hungry Rams team who is in desperate need for their first win. Steven Jackson is supposed to suit up as well which will be a great help. The Redskins just surrendered 114 rushing yards to a hobbled Felix Jones with an 8.2 YPC average. Teams that get blown out and are off a spread loss of 25+ are 80-44 ATS the next week.
Pick: Rams PK
Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs
This spread IMO should be Vikings -3 at the minimum but due to their 0-3 record and the Chiefs playing the Chargers close, we are getting great value at -1. The Vikings are clearly the better team here. They have a very stout defense who can rush the passer and as you saw last week, Kevin William's return is a huge help to that defense. The Vikings have 9 sacks already and will get to Cassell early and often. They also have a very good run defense which is the only thing the Chiefs can do now that Charlie Wies is gone as offensive coordinator for the Chiefs. I really don't see how the Chiefs are going to convert first downs and move the chains at all in this one. The Chiefs threw everything at the Chargers and had a chance to win the game late but Cassell threw a pick to end the game. They are sure to be in a letdown mode this week.
Pick: Vikings -1
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
What's wrong with the Bears defense this year? Their offensive line is horrible as usual but that's expected. The Bears have given up over 275 passing yards every week so far this season which is very unlike them. Other than week 1, the Bears have been giving up first downs on third and long's consistently and blowing many coverages. The panthers are playing a lot better on offense with Cam Newton under center and Steve Smith fired up again finally having a QB with an arm. There defense is still lackluster but the Bears have one of the worst offensive coordinators in the game and fail to give the ball to their best offensive player week after week (Forte). With all the problems on that offensive line I really have no idea why they don't run the ball more when they have a running back of that caliber. The Bears had that game against the Packers circled on their calendar ever since they got knocked out of the playoffs by them last year. They put everything they had into that game and came up short. I really don't see them matching the same energy output as last week and they are for sure to be flat this week against a newly excited Panthers squad.
- Fade favorites of more than 3 pts if they have a divisional game with line pk or dog the following week. Since 1990: 307-173 ATS. 64%
Pick: Panthers +7
Rams PK (POW)
Titans/Browns Over 38.5
(might add these later)
5-2 Last Week