With one week of football behind us, it should be easier to cap this week. Not for me, nothing really, really jumps out at me. There are some lessons learned from week 1 though.
Our FIVE STAR pick Pittsburgh last week covered easily, and we’ll be playing them again this week as an UNDERDOG. Clearly, Kyle Boller was overwhelmed in his first NFL start, and Tommy Maddox showed why he won the comeback player of the year before.
Our Cardinals play looked good through most of the game, but the Cards didn’t play well in the fourth quarter. The Lions without a solid running attack couldn’t keep the Cardinals Offense off the field. Likewise, the rookie AZ receiver torched the Lions poor secondary.
The Jets were not able to run on the Redskins. Clearly a surprise to me. It might be because of the poor play calling of the Jets, and the fact Vinnie T (no relation) only used half the field. I thought Vinnie would have played better, but I can’t bet on the Jets again until I see some life out of their offense. I’m still not sold on the Skins, and look for Doug Johnson to get some revenge on his old coach this weekend.
Ah, the Bucs, clearly the better team. No doubt about that game, money in the bank. Philly D got warn down by the end of the game, and newsflash ‘The Bucs defense is really, really good’
Indy’s Peyton Manning directed a winning FG attempt, and won a close game. With a better kicker and Dungy’s improved defense, this was a close game, and we were on the right side.
The Carolina Panthers played inspired ball after Rodney Peete was replaced. The Jags surprised me by playing such inspired ball, I would look to back the Jags on the road one of these days when they are getting many points. The Panthers also might be a good team to back when getting points as they came back nicely.
Finally, Dallas –2. Lesson learned here, Quincy Carter cannot be relied upon as a favorite until he shows poise and maturity. He makes too many mistakes, he has a lot of talent, but needs to stop turning the ball over. Dallas will make a nice Dog to back here and there, but you CANNOT back Dallas as a favorite for quite a while. Atlanta played inspired ball in the second half and let Quincy lose the game for the Cowboys.
So, On to this weeks picks, I’m only going to annotate my actual plays.
Washington +3 at Atlanta: Clearly, Doug Johnson wants to show up his old coach. Likewise, the Falcons owner lowers his prices to get a sold out stadium. Atlanta’s defense can put pressure on second year Ramsey. The Redskins won the last game because Vinnie couldn’t (wouldn’t) throw downfield. Doug Johnson is NOT handicapped like that. Atlanta –3
Houston +8.5 @ New Orleans: New Orleans may be in trouble this year. David Carr and the Texans played a great game, and have built confidence now. Take the Points. Houston +8.5
Pittsburgh +3 @ Kansas City: Yes Priest Holmes is back, but so is Tommy Maddox. Pittsburgh’s Cowher usually plays well in KC. Take the points. Pitt +3
Carolina +9.5 @ Tampa: Yes, Tampa looked great on National TV last week, and they shut out Philly on the Road, but Carolina is a comeback team (last week against the Jags). Too many Points for a team with a Monday Night hangover. Carolina +9.5
Minny –9 @ Chicago: Minny’s home opener. Normally, I’d go for the points here, but Chicago was SOOO bad last week. Plus, Chicago has a bye next week, perfect time to fire your coach because you’ll have two weeks to replace him. Almost feels like a trap game, that’s why this is only 3 stars. Minny –9
Dallas +7.5 @ New York Giants: Quincy didn’t look very good in the second half, BUT The Giants let Kurt Warner self destruct on way to beating the Rams. Not sold on the Giants yet, and more than a TD is TOO many points. Take Dallas +7.5 , as Monday Night footballs games are supposed to be closer than last week’s Tampa blowout.
Pittsburgh +3 (Might find +3.5)
May all your bets be winners!