As is my wont, I have again waited until an hour before the weekend's games are about to start before getting my picks in the can. Last weekend, my well-informed picks proved to be not well-informed at all as I went 1-3, the Jets victory over Cincinnati being the only game I managed to pick correctly. Hopefully, I'll get my mojo back this weekend, but I highly doubt it.
Arizona Cardinals (11-6) at New Orleans Saints (13-3)
Arizona proved last weekend that they can put up a lot of points, but if you have a quick moving, dynamic offense, their defense can't stop you. New Orleans has such an offense. Yes, they haven't played in 2 weeks and yes, they lost their last 3 games, but they've had the hot hand most of the season and I don't realistically see Arizona winning this game.
My pick: Saints 36, Cardinals 27
Baltimore Ravens (10-7) at Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
It's a sticky game for the Colts, who rested their players and took it on the chin to make sure everyone was healthy and ready for this game. If they don't win, they are once again left holding their cocks while Ray Lewis dances away with the prize. They have been in this position multiple times in the past and managed to shit the bed each time. On the other hand, Baltimore pasted New England with their power running attack and basically hid Joe Flacco because they were afforded the ability to do so. I don't think they can beat the Colts if Flacco doesn't throw the ball. Then again, I didn't think they'd be able to keep up with New England either. Nonetheless, I have to go with the Colts. It would be pretty funny if they lost, but I don't really see Baltimore being able to muster up enough to knock them off.
My pick: Colts 31, Ravens 21
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
Matchup of two of my absolute least favorite teams. The Vikings annoyed me even before they had Brett Favre, going back to the day in 1988 when Anthony Carter basically wrecked what had been a happy childhood for me. They had a 15-1 season and spit it up. They had a playoff berth slip out of their hands when their coach stupidly played a prevent defense and gave up a last second TD in another season. Then, they brought in Favre. Favre Favre Favre. Brett Favre and the MinneFavrea Favrekings. Favre Favre and more Favre. Do you know about Brett Favre? Well, Joe Buck will tell you all about Brett Favre. And if that wasn't enough, on the other side, there's Prince Romo and the Cowboys waiting for them! What's strange is that I really don't know who to pick here. Going back to about week 4, when the Vikings looked like they were ready to run away and hide with the NFC North, I pegged them as reeking like a team that was going to get picked off at home in this game. I was really looking forward to picking against them. But I can't pick against them if it means picking the Cowboys, can I? Can I???
My pick: Cowboys 30, Vikings 27
Yes I can.
New York Jets (10-7) at San Diego Chargers (13-3)
This is probably the game that I spent the most time hemming and hawing over before finally making a pick. The Jets basically have nothing to lose, and had nothing to lose last week when they walked into Cincinnati and smacked the Bengals in the mouth. They are clearly a team that cannot be taken lightly and if they are able to get a lead and a little momentum, it can snowball. On the other side San Diego just hasn't shown any weaknesses, pretty much all season. Their running game is kind of sparse, but they are led by Philip Rivers, who is probably the best QB in the league right now not named Manning. Rivers, if you haven't paid any attention, is cocky, daring and loves to throw the ball all over the field, even if part of the field is going to be turned into Revis Island. As I said last week, I don't trust the Jets being able to win on the arm of Mark Sanchez, at least not yet. He showed a lot last week and I know he won't back down from any challenge presented this week either. I've heard a lot of talk and a lot of bold predictions, mostly from Jets fans this week. In reality, San Diego is a much better team and the Jets were fairly inconsistent. I don't think the game will be a blowout, but the Jets spin machine can be very persuasive. This will be the best game of the weekend.
My pick: Chargers 16, Jets 13 (OT)