At this point in the season it's becoming easier and easier to pick games. That is, until it gets harder. Just when you think you have a grasp on this league it wriggles out of your hands like Marshawn through a pack of Eagles. With that in mind, I've selected three big upsets this week. Readers with a keen eye should be able to catch them. Enjoy!
Kansas City @ New York Jets
The Chiefs' defense has been all over the place this season. In their last two games they've given up a combined 16 points, in their first two games they gave up 89 combined points. Sprinkle in a shutout of Oakland and a 31 point surrendering to Miami, and it's just downright confusing. So what to make of these jerks? Who cares, it's the Chiefs. My advice would simply be to ignore them, that's been my strategy, it didn't work very well for the Bears last week, but that's beside the point.
Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville
It's a battle of Northern Florida vs. Central Florida! Hold on to your butts, there won't be any fans sitting down for this one. In fact, they're probably won't be any fans standing either. These are two of the least popular teams in the league, especially in the cities where they play, so the attendance promises to be sparse at best. Both teams seemed to hit rock bottom last week with blowout losses to losing teams at home. Good news for one of these squads: you're actually going to get a win this week! Bad news for the other group: you're going to lose to a team that might be even worse than you.
New England @ Washington
Two Redskins, TE Fred Davis and OT Trent Williams, were suspended this week for positive drug tests and they didn't even have hyperactivity to use as an excuse. Clearly this is a team full of dirty cheats, and all of their wins up to this point should be forfeited. But since that probably won't happen I'll move on. The Patriots are the clear pick over the Redskins, said observers of the struggle for the "New World," and that statement rings truer than ever in this contest.
Atlanta @ Carolina
Upset #1!!! The Falcons have proven to be shaky on the road this year. They're 3-3, with one of those wins coming against the Colts (shouldn't count) and another coming in an escape act over the Seahawks, a game in which a 61st minute really would have benefited Tarvaris and the gang. Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off impressive victories against the Colts and the Buccaneers, and I see them getting their third in a row.
Indianapolis @ Baltimore
If there are still any folks in Baltimore that are bitter about the Colts leaving town, this game should finally allow them to get over it. Seeing the Colts in their current state will make Baltimorans (Baltimorians?) glad that they left town. That being said, after his performance last week I don't think it's too early to say that Dan Orlovsky may be the future of the NFL. And apparently I'm not the only one, note these absurd QB rankings that have him at #23, one better than Tarvaris Jackson. Sports Illustrated, always good at lists.
Philadelphia @ Miami
It might seem strange to you that at this point in the season one of the teams I'm most confident in is the Miami Dolphins. Well it's just as strange to me that I sit around typing football goofs for a readership of five. But hey, sometimes strange things make the most sense. Most of the time that is not true, so don't consider that advice, but just roll with it for now.
Minnesota @ Detroit
It should be noted that last week I correctly predicted the score of the Lions 31-17 loss to the Saints. Of course, the only reason I have to note it is because I didn't receive the flood of texts, phone calls, tweets or even re-tweets that I was expecting after such an accomplishment. But don't worry, I'm not too humble to pat myself on the back every now and then. As for this week, I predict that I nail the Lions' score again. Of course, that statement is redundant because if I'm picking a score I obviously believe that I'll be right, otherwise I wouldn't pick it. Understood?
New Orleans @ Tennessee
Upset #2!!! The Saints have already suffered disappointing road losses at Tampa and St. Louis this season, so it's not too far-fetched to believe that they'd drop one to the surging(?) Titans. Tennessee has won back to back games by the score of 23-17, and the game before that they lost to Atlanta by the same score. They're just making it easy on me here.
Houston @ Cincinnati
If you'll take another look at the SI quarterback rankings you'll see that T.J. Yates is sitting at the 21 spot. And why not? He flirted with a 50% completion rate and threatened to top 200 yards in his lone start of the season. I know what you're thinking, 21? This man belongs in the top 5! Well, hold your horses, this isn't a ranking of QBs with the coolest first names, so Teej will probably need another fantastic start before he can rise up the polls. Unfortunately, that fantastic start will not come in this game against the Bengals' stingy D.
Chicago @ Denver
Three weeks ago, when the Bears started their stretch of consecutive games against the entire AFC West, they couldn't have imagined it turning out like this. It must be reaffirming though for the Bears front office to see that they had Caleb Hanie as the back-up quarterback for a reason, their evaluation of talent, and lack there of, is spot on. As if things weren't going bad enough for Chicago they now have to face ^$%&* (at this point it would be disrespectful to type the man's name as if he were one of us). This game can best be described as an irresistible force meeting a very movable object.
San Francisco @ Arizona
Upset #3!!! It's time for us all to take a long look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. Let's face it, these Cardinals are getting good! They've won 4 out of their last 5 with their only loss coming against .... uh oh. Ok, so it was only a few weeks when the Niners dominated the Cards 23-7. So what's changed? Kevin fuckin' Kolb, that's what. He was absent from the first match-up, and I think his presence in this game will make a huge difference (fingers crossed that it's a positive difference).
Buffalo @ San Diego
Two teams from opposite ends of the map with the same record. That is not an interesting anecdote, and fittingly, this is not an interesting game. The Chargers are still technically in the AFC West race, but with you know who playing quarterback for Denver, they might as well just give up now. I'd tell them to say their prayers, but once again, when you take into consideration the Denver QB, there's not much hope that God would listen.
Oakland @ Green Bay
When debating whether or not the Packers will go undefeated, a lot of analysts argue that it will be impossible for another team to outscore Green Bay, they then go on to explain other ways in which teams might have a shot. What they should have done instead was stop talking after they said it would be impossible for another team to outscore Green Bay; if that's true, then Green Bay will not lose, this is just a fact.
New York Giants @ Dallas
Why aren't we hearing more about how the NFC East sucks this year? The first place team is 7-5 and the combined record of the teams in the division is 21-27. If this were the NFC West the division would be cast aside by the national media, but instead we're talking about the East, so it's just as popular as ever. But not here! In fact, I care so little about this division that I barely even pay attention when these teams are playing. You might say that I'm neglecting my duties as a bona fide pick-meister, but the truth is that I don't really need to watch. When it comes to NFC East match-ups (and all other games) I just flip a coin and hope for the best.
Heads (whoops) Cowboys 27-23
St. Louis @ Seattle
Bum bum bum bum, Ba bum Ba bum! Get ready America! Just when I thought the national media didn't care about the NFC West they give us a chance to showcase this gem. Speaking of gems, well not gems, but gyms, The Rams may be starting Tyler Grandstander, well not Grandstander, but Brandstater (I have to check on the Tyler part too). A third stringer trying to succeed in the CLink? Do your research pal. Apparently Sam Bradford is "hoping" he can play, but it's clear that he also has a concussion in addition to his ankle problem, because if he was thinking clearly he wouldn't want any part of this shit.