These picks come in from one of our favorite sports bloggers. A guy who has been doing it before blogging was cool. I'm sure the picks suck, but it's nice to add a fresh voice.
Pittsburgh (-3) over Miami
I think Pittsburgh is the best team in the NFL, especially with Ben Roethlisberger back, making their offense balanced again. Miami has some nice wins this season, but I'm not sure Chad Henne is going to be very effective against this defense. I like Pittsburgh to win a low-scoring game in Miami, with Roethlisberger making the difference.
Cincinnati (+3.5) over Atlanta
Atlanta looked like it might have a chance to be the class of the NFC, and then they got beat easily by Philly. Cincy started off well before tailing off, but they know they need a win to try and salvage their season. Look for a good gameplan from Mike Zimmer, and just enough plays out of the Cincy offense to pull off an upset.
St. Louis (+2.5) over Tampa Bay
After last week's win over the Chargers, I believe in the Rams in the NFC West. The defensive front is getting after people just like Spagnulo's Giants' teams used to do. The offense, thanks to Sam Bradford, is showing more signs of life than they have in years. Something is brewing in St. Louis, and I think it will be enough to beat the Bucs.
San Francisco (-3) over Carolina
2-5 an the Niners will start to believe. The musical chairs of Carolina quarterback goes back to Matt Moore. Won't make a difference for this punchless offense, as teams will just load the box. Carolina's receivers aren't good enough to beat anyone.
Washington (+3) over Chicago
The Bears correction continues, as the Redskins are showing signs of being solid. Donovan McNabb is playing better than Jay Cutler right now, which is why I will take the Skins. The Bears need to get Matt Forte the ball in the running game, because teams will be going after Cutler with the way the offensive line has performed this season.
New Orleans (-13.5) over Cleveland
The Saints appear to have some of their mojo back, particularly if they can continue a strong rushing attack. Colt McCoy looked surprisingly good in his first game starting in his career, but there is not enough firepower in Cleveland to compete with the Saints.
Buffalo (+13) over Baltimore
Baltimore should win the game easily, but I think the Bills will be able to make the final score respectable. Fred Jackson should get more touches after the trade of Marshawn Lynch, and that could be a good thing. It will also be interesting to see if they have anything new for CJ Spiller. Ryan Fitzgerald is not anyone's answer to a long-term solution at QB, but he is serviceable, which is more than you could say about Trent Edwards.
Philadelphia (+2.5) over Tennessee
I believe in Kevin Kolb. He looked great against Atlanta, and he appears to have the timing of the offense down. The only thing that concerns me is that Desean Jackson will be out of the game, which is a big blow to the offense. Still, I have more faith in Philly's run game than Tennessee's pass game, which is why I will take the Eagles here.
Seattle (-5.5) over Arizona
Nice win by Seattle last week, showing that they could win a road game, which was in question for me before that game. At home, I think they will overwhelm Arizona, who is better with Max Hall than they were with Derek Anderson (or Matt Leinart), but not good enough to be a serious contender.
Denver (-7) over Oakland
The Broncos have played well, just are struggling to get over the hump. The Raiders, meanwhile, looked awful last week, and Kyle Boller could be getting the start this week. I think Denver's offense is a lot more explosive than the Raiders, even with the lack of a running game.
New England (+3) over San Diego
New England looks like the Patriots of old... a bunch of scrappy guys just going out there and playing. I can't put my finger on what is different after essentially trading Randy Moss for Deion Branch, but SOMETHING is. And it's clear that as great as Moss is, things were not working out this season. The Patriots look like a force the rest of the way to me.
Minnesota (+3) over Green Bay
The game that is full of storylines. Favre comes back to Lambeau again, and this time the Packers are reeling. The Packers know that if they lose this game, the Vikings have all of the momentum in the division. Still, I like the Vikings D (which has quietly been excellent) to get after Aaron Rodgers like they did last year, and for Favre to hit Moss on a deep ball that will make the difference.
Dallas (-3) over New York
The NFC East seems to always have these types of games... one team is struggling, the other team is playing well... but talent-wise, they are close to even, and there is one team that really needs the game more than the other team. Dallas will be in desperation mode. At home in Big D, I'll take Dallas to prolong the death of their season for another week.