Once again, New England kept me from a perfect record last week.  You’d think by now I’d learn to keep them out of my picks.  But nooooooooo!  (A little Belushi humor, there!) 

So I guess the safe thing to do would be to stay as far from the Patriots as I can this week.  That way, they won’t have a chance of screwing up my picks again, right? 

Yeah, well playing it safe just isn’t as fun as it sounds.  Read on!! 


This week’s Lock of the Week (10-1). 

After posting the worst record in the NFL last season, who would have thought we’d ever see the Chiefs in this category only one season later.  And yet, there is no better choice this week. 

After running the table over the first nine games, Kansas City was brought back to earth last week in Denver, suffering their first loss of the season.  You think they might be looking forward to seeking some revenge on their next opponent?  Not only will they be thoroughly PO’d, but they will need to figure things out quickly, as the Broncos will be coming to town next week for the rematch and the divisional title. 

Meanwhile, the Chargers, although playing much better than most prognosticators thought they would this season, are no match for the team that Andy Reid has built.  Look for the Chiefs defense to go off on the Chargers offense, shutting them down at every turn. 

KC should generate at least five turnovers and win this one going away! 


This week’s Upset of the Week (5-6). 

There are a couple of games that could easily fall into this category this week.  The funny thing is how many games are not able to land here.  Let’s take a look at a few. 

Eight weeks ago, how many of you would have thought that Houston over Jacksonville would not even be considered for a lock this week?  It’s become so bad for the Texans that I actually considered picking this game for the upset of the week! 

Along the same lines, how many of you thought Indianapolis at Arizona wouldn’t have a chance to land here?  Not only is Indy not a lock to win, the Cardinals are favored! 

Tennessee at Oakland should have been the Titans opportunity to stay in the running for a wild card spot.  Instead, the Raiders could pass them up on the potential playoff team list! 

So what game does that leave me with?  Well this may sound crazy to some of you loyal readers, but I’m going with the Steelers winning at Cleveland.  I know, I know, you’re probably thinking I’ve gone over the edge, but I think this is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions. 

While the Browns showed signs of life for several weeks, they had their heads handed to them by the Bengals last week.  Meanwhile, the Steelers, after beginning the season in a battle with the Giants for the worst early season collapse ever, have begun to actually put points on the board. 

That’s bad news for Cleveland, since they haven’t been able to figure out how to do that for a couple of years.  This won’t be a barn burner by any means, but Pittsburgh should be able to win this one by at least two TDs.


This week’s Game of the Week (6-5). 

I know, I just got through making a speech about staying away from the Nor’ Easter capital of this great country, and where do I go for the Game of the Week? 

But seriously, how could I not pick the Denver Broncos at the New England Patriots?  These are two of the best teams in the AFC in a game that could decide the face of the playoffs.  If Denver wins, they need only to beat Kansas City next week to pretty much lock up the #1 seed. 

Meanwhile, a loss for New England could prevent them from getting a week one bye and force them to win the AFC championship on the road. 

However, a Patriot victory would tighten things up for both teams.  Not only would it keep them in the running for an opening week bye, it would also keep them in the running for the #1 seed, ensuring them home playoff games throughout.  Not to mention it would really make next week’s game at KC a must win for the Broncos. 

So which team will have the most motivation on Sunday night?  Who cares?  Injuries will be the most important category to watch.  Wes Welker would love to play a part in handing his old team a loss, while Peyton Manning will try to make it another week in a big game with a high ankle sprain (an injury that hurts a lot more then he showed last week). 

The key will be the running games.  Ridley has been showing glimpses of last year’s success lately, with some good spotting from his fellow RBs.  Moreno has finally been able to show the consistency that everyone has been looking for over the past few years. 

Whichever team is able to sustain a good running attack will have the clear advantage, since the passing games for both teams will perform at the high level they always do. 

This should be an exciting game for all fans, whether you like either (or both) teams or hate them with a passion. 

In the end, I think the most talented team will come away with the victory in what should be a high scoring nail biter to the end.  When the final gun sounds, the Broncos will have notched their tenth victory and will be one step closer to the #1 seed in the AFC.


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