Aside from the first play after Rashad Greene's big punt return when Derrick Morgan was inexplicably on Julius Thomas, Jacksonville's red zone play-calling almost negated their strength, but their defense came through in the end just like in this game last year.
Redskins +7.5 at Panthers
Carolina's defense is a whole other animal than the pathetic New Orleans unit they faced last week, but I still like Washington to cover this line that's too high. Although the Panthers should win at home, I still don't trust their weapons to pull away from a decent team.
Raiders -1.5 at Lions
Detroit won in Green Bay for the first time since 1991 and is at home against an Oakland team coming off back to back losses, but their secondary has suffered a ton of injuries. This one could be a shootout, but the Raiders' healthier defense should end their losing streak.
|With Darius Slay likely shadowing Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree should stay hot against Detroit's backup corners.|
Cowboys -2.5 at Dolphins
The line has rightfully shifted with the anticipated return of Tony Romo, and he should be the difference maker after a string of tough losses. Dez Bryant should be in line for a big game with a huge size mismatch against Miami's corners.
Colts +3.5 at Falcons
Both teams are coming off byes, but that was bigger for Indy to get Matthew Hasselbeck more reps with Andrew Luck sidelined. He played surprisingly well when called into duty earlier, and with Atlanta's poor play heading into their week off, I'm taking the points.
Ravens -3 versus Rams
Don't expect a lot of points in this one, but Case Keenum could at least make it entertaining. Baltimore's defense played better last week after their bye, so I feel okay laying the points with them at home against the backup signal caller.
|Jameis Winston has been dealin' in recent weeks.|
Buccaneers +6.5 at Eagles
Although I think Mark Sanchez can lead Philadelphia to a win at home, I can't lay this many points with such an inconsistent team, especially with Tampa Bay playing pretty well. Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David should be able to bottle up the Eagles' run game and give them a chance.
Jets -4 at Texans
Houston's defense finally played to their potential on Monday night, but now they're playing on a short week while New York will have 10 days of rest. I'm a little worried about the Jets' lethargic play of late, but their defense should lead them to a win, especially if T.J. Yates has to fill in for Brian Hoyer.
Broncos -2 at Bears
I called the Kansas City upset last week, but I couldn't have imagined Peyton Manning having a career worst game after getting the career passing record. Brock Osweiler can only be an improvement at this point, and Denver's defense can win it by themselves, playing at a higher level than they were under John Fox, now coaching Chicago.
Chiefs -3 at Chargers
San Diego had the bye to try get healthy and turn things around, but Kansas City is playing at such a high level on both sides of the ball. Charcandrick West, in particular, has been an incredible workhorse who should be in line for another big day.
|Sean Smith's return from suspension has turned around this defense.|
Minnesota probably should be favored at home with the way these teams are playing, but I'm counting on Aaron Rodgers getting his offense on track. Green Bay's run defense trying to slow down Adrian Peterson is a tall task, but I think they'll find a way to pull out the win.
49ers +14 at Seahawks
Blaine Gabbert played well in his first start and has had the bye to get more first team reps, so I'm taking the points despite the tough road environment. The Seahawks' offense is too inconsistent to lay this many points, and Navarro Bowman will be fired up after the horrific injury he suffered the last time he played in Seattle.
Cincinnati did not look good on MNF and are in prime time again, which is when they have struggled historically. However, this line got pumped up a touch too high for me, especially with Carson Palmer possibly missing two of his top receivers with hamstring issues. I still like his chances of taking down his original team, but I'm taking the points here.
|The battle of 2011 top 5 picks will be fun to watch.|
The hits keep on coming for New England with Julian Edelman the latest key loss, and their offensive line is in a much different shape than when Tom Brady was able to uncork 59 passes against this defensive front. Buffalo is coming off 10 days rest and a big win, and they should be able to keep it close with their defense and running game.
Last week: 8-6
2015 Season Total: 77-64-6