It's good that the NFL gives us football all week long, but having a matchup on a Thursday muddies the water as far as picking games. Let's see what the early signs are in the upcoming week, but don't forget, these picks can and most likely will change as the week progresses and injury reports become clearer. Except in New England where the great injury report game goes on...
A tough slate for us this week as a few inconsistent teams face each other. There's also a few matchups between bad teams that frankly could go either way and also a matchup of arguably the league's best two teams in New England on Monday, so all-in-all we have one of those weeks where there'll be plenty of disagreement across the board from the experts.
Broncos @ Raiders
Even with McFadden back (Questionable) it seems pretty unlikely that the Raiders could snap their 5 game losing streak against the Broncos, who've won 7 on the trot now. I don't think this pick will change depending on any injuries unless Peyton Manning gets hurt while 'wrestling' with Brandon Stokley in the locker room.
Rams @ Bills
I actually may change this as I believe the Rams have been better than advertised so far this year. The weather is always a factor in Buffalo at this time of year, so that too could mean some last minute changes.
Titans @ Colts
I don't like the Titans at all. They've basically quit on the season already and last week showed no fight. Jake Locker looked particularly bad and I don't think Tennessee's defence is good enough to take advantage of Andrew Luck's rookie errors.
Cowboys @ Bengals
A horrible game to pick. Both coming off nice wins, but the Bengals showed a lot of character last week in San Diego. The Cowboys generally tend to falter under pressure and have crucial injuries, but it could still go either way.
Chiefs @ Browns
You want a dynamic that could change this game? 'Brady Quinn and Romeo Crennel return to Cleveland after an emotional week'.
Jets @ Jaguars
You want a dynamic that could change this game? 'Mark Sanchez returns to the bench after an emotional week'. In all seriousness, the Jets D is good and the Jags running game is on it's 4th starter of the year, so don't get too low on the Jets yet.
Chargers @ Steelers
Another horrible game, but the Chargers are all over the place and I'm starting to doubt if they'll win another game this season. Norv knows he's done and much like Andy Reid, he's phoning it in so he can get a nice big payoff. I don't even think the Steelers will risk Ben Roethlisberger this week unless they have to.
Ravens @ Redskins
Again, these aren't the best games to be picking this week because the Ravens are not hot at all and the Redskins are soaring (is that what Redskins do? Probably not...) with RGIII. I picked the Giants on Monday and that was a mistake, so I'll right that wrong by going Skins early.
Bears @ Vikings
This is one of only three road teams I've got winning at this early stage, but I prefer the Bears. the Vikes look sloppy and even a slumping Bears defence should be able to harass Christian Ponder all day. Speaking of which, the Bears should probably try and stop that guy who is the best RB in the league too...
Eagles @ Buccaneers
A no brainer - Reid is gone, literally if the team performs badly against the Bucs, who have a number of weapons that could take advantage of a weak Eagles D. Put this one in the books.
Falcons @ Panthers
I don't like this game but picking the Panthers this early in the week after a loss to the Chiefs would be a brave move...
Dolphins @ 49ers
I think the 49ers need to win this game to put to bed any lingering doubts about Colin Kaepernick, and that extra wrinkle could create some needless pressure against a Dolphins team who frankly look content to finish with 5 victories in Ryan Tannehill's rookie year. keep an eye on this.
Cardinals @ Seahawks
See last week: Under no circumstances pick the Cardinals while Ryan Lindley remains as QB. I can't make that any clearer.
Saints @ Giants
This would usually be the worst game of the week to pick, but this week's MNF matchup wins that dubious honour. Both teams had a bad week last time out, yet arguably they are two of the better teams in the league. I don't like the Giants D against the offensive weapons of the Saints, and I like the depth that New Orleans have at RB, which is exactly what the Giants are missing.
Lions @ Packers
If Jordy Nelson doesn't go this one gets tighter, but really, who are you going to pick at Lambeau in December? A dome team? A team that looks unable to close out close games? Thought not...
Texans @ Patriots
I don't know how you call this, but I prefer the Patriots at home. I will say this though - in the Super Bowl Tom Brady really struggled to deal with Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of the Giants trying to bat down passes. You think the Texans have anyone who can do that?