Before we dive into the picks, I want to shout out to the guys who put together the NFL logos as soccer badges. I’m a big soccer fan, so the whole idea was pretty cool. Sadly I think the Giants one is the least appealing and they’re my squad. Specific kudos though to the ones for Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Those ones are pretty sweet.
Locks of the Week:
PHILADELPHIA -3.5 over Washington
The Redskins continue to get respect despite coming up short in numerous road games. They’re 1-4 against the spread on the road this year with the only win being in Oakland, one of the worst teams in the league. The Eagles are headed in the right direction and it’s not just the offense that’s producing. They’ve allowed 21 points or less in their last six games.
NEW ORLEANS -3.5 over San Francisco
I said this in last week’s column and on Twitter after San Francisco lost to Carolina. The 49ers’ recent success was against St. Louis, Houston, Arizona, Tennessee, and Jacksonville. Arizona’s the only team on that list with a winning record and that’s a questionable one in itself. Look for New Orleans to exact some revenge on last year’s game, which was Colin Kaepernick’s coming out party.
Reggie: New Orleans
CAROLINA -2.5 over New England
Everyone’s loving New England after they obliterated Pittsburgh in the second half of their game before the bye, but that’s just one half and the Steelers aren’t the same team they’ve been in recent years. Carolina proved that they’re legitimate by going on the road and winning outright as a touchdown dog in San Francisco last week. The Panthers can rush the passer with the best of them and we know Tom Brady doesn’t fare well when linemen are snapping at his feet.
Reggie: New England
Trap Game of the Week:
N.Y. Jets -1.5 over BUFFALO
Who knows whether we’re getting good or bad Geno Smith because the Jets were on a bye last week. This game sets up well for the Jets because they can limit the Bills’ strength of running the football and force E.J. Manuel to beat them. They’ll just need average Geno if that’s even possible for him.
Rest of the Picks:
TAMPA BAY +1.5 over Atlanta
Three wins between the two teams makes this game a real snoozer. Tampa Bay finally got their first win last week, so they should be feeling a bit more confident. With Darrelle Revis able to lock down the recently healthy Roddy White, Atlanta’s offense will struggle as it has in recent weeks.
Detroit -2.5 over PITTSBURGH
It’s nice that the Steelers won last week, but their offensive line is still a mess and that doesn’t bode well when facing Detroit’s defensive tackles. The Lions are stepping up to win close games now in consecutive games and should be able to carve up Pittsburgh’s defense in the same way New England did a couple weeks ago.
Baltimore +3.5 over CHICAGO
The Bears’ skid of losing four of their last six got worse when Jay Cutler was diagnosed with a dreaded high-ankle sprain. Josh McCown is fully capable, but the defense hasn’t been all year. It might actually be the cure for what ails the Ravens’ offense. Allowing 27.4 points a game just isn’t going to cut it.
JACKSONVILLE +6.5 over Arizona
I can’t believe I’m taking Jacksonville, but maybe I hate Arizona more. I can’t believe they’re 5-4.
HOUSTON -7.5 over Oakland
It looks like Terrelle Pryor is playing, but he still won’t be anywhere near 100% because of his knee injury. If he can’t run, he’s a below-average NFL quarterback. The only reason Oakland was in the game last week was because the Giants gifted them with 14 points. The Texans under Case Keenum don’t turn the ball over, so the Raiders won’t get as lucky this week. It’s time for this Houston to show a little more. That’s kind of what Deandre Hopkins was thinking earlier in the week.
Cleveland +6.5 over CINCINNATI
The only team Cincinnati blew out all season was the Jets and that’s because Geno Smith couldn’t get out of his own way. Jason Campbell has filled it nicely for Cleveland and should keep this game within reach, especially since Cincinnati has those key injuries on defense.
San Diego +1.5 over MIAMI
I feel bad for San Diego. They’ve had to travel to 1 p.m. ET starts in Philadelphia, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Washington, and now Miami this season. That’s five cross-country trips in 11 weeks. At least they’re facing average or worse teams. Miami showed last week that they can make a bad pass rush in Tampa look good because life just isn’t the same when you’re missing two offensive linemen off an already bad line.
Reggie: San Diego
Green Bay +6.5 over N.Y. GIANTS
Scott Tolzein isn’t too good, but the Giants have been so lucky this season to even be where they are. They’ve won three games without even playing well.
Reggie: New York Giants
SEATTLE -13.5 over Minnesota
This is an easy opportunity for the Seahawks to lay an egg, but they should’ve learned their lesson from the game against the Bucs a couple weeks ago. Minnesota will struggle to move the ball and Seattle should have this game salted away by halftime.
Kansas City +8.5 over DENVER
We all know the Chiefs can’t get into a shootout. They had an extra week to prepare because of the bye and should pull out all the tricks in the bag this week to make this their kind of game. Andy Reid is also 14-1 off a bye.
Reggie: Kansas City
This Week: 1-0
Reggie’s Picks: 73-74-2