PEWTERREPORT.COM STAFF STANDINGS

Scott Reynolds 39-20

Hugh MacArthur 35-24

Jim Flynn 34-25

LAST WEEK

Scott Reynolds 10-4

Jim Flynn 8-6

Hugh MacArthur
8-6
 
Cleveland at Carolina (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – This one has a “Christians against the Lions” feel to it, and the venue is the Lions’ den.  Kitties 1 Christians 0.  Carolina

Reynolds – Carolina is really gaining some momentum with the return of Steve Smith. The Browns showed some grit in a come-from-behind road win at Oakland. But the Panthers ain’t the Raiders, and that’s why I don’t like the Browns. Carolina

Flynn – The Panthers won’t have a problem winning their third straight game since starting the season 0-2. They’ll gain some serious ground in the NFC South division with a easy win over the woeful Browns. Carolina

St. Louis at Green Bay (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Brett Favre will need all of his Lambeau mojo for this game.  Marc Bulger is really coming on in coach Scott Linehan’s offense.  The Green Bay secondary is so pathetic they just cut former 2004 first-round draft pick Ahmed Carroll after the Eagles’ game Monday night.  An improbable Rams season rolls on.  St. Louis

Reynolds – Green Bay got spanked on Monday Night Football at Philadelphia. The Packers are traditionally tougher at home, but the Rams may be a surprise team in the NFC. I like them on the road this week. St. Louis

Flynn – The Rams are catching the Packers at the right time. Green Bay isn’t playing well and is coming off a short week. Homefield advantage is enough to keep this one close, but not close enough for the Packers. St. Louis

Detroit at Minnesota (1:00 Sunday ET)

MacArthur – Detroit will play Minnesota either Sunday or Monday depending upon the outcome of the A’s series.  Wait a minute.  Are the Lions playing the Vikings or the Twins?  I don’t think they could beat either team.  Minnesota

Reynolds – I said I wouldn’t pick Detroit until they win a game. But I really want to pick them this week. I think the fighting Marinellis will win … but I have to stick to my guns, especially with Vikings playing at home. Minnesota

Flynn – The Lions still are looking for their first win, but they won’t get it this week. The Vikings rebound from last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo with a big division win against the Lions. Minnesota

Tampa Bay at New Orleans (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – My friends, there is absolutely no reason to pick the Buccaneers in this game.  None. Zip. Zero. Nada.  New Orleans is not only playing pretty well on offense and defense, but they are at home in a suddenly rejuvenated SuperDome and the jambalaya is on the boil.  Tampa Bay has a rookie quarterback making his first start, and a rookie right tackle making his first start.  The defense is too old to chase Reggie Bush.  There’s just no way they win.  Nope. Well, maybe.  Tampa Bay

Reynolds – I was leaning towards picking the Bucs in an upset with Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback. I think Bruce can get the job done. I’m expecting big things from him. I was with Tampa Bay … until Wednesday. That’s when I found out that Kenyatta Walker was on IR and rookie Jeremy Trueblood was going to start in his place.As bad as Walker has historically played at right tackle, he’s still better than an inexperienced Trueblood. I like the spunky Saints in the ‘Dome. New Orleans

Flynn – The Saints have historically played the Buccaneers tough, even when they weren’t very a good team. What should we expect now that New Orleans is off to a 3-1 start and actually resembles a solid football team? Tampa Bay is in desperate need of a spark and needs quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to deliver it. That’s a tall order for Tampa Bay’s rookie signal caller in a game against a New Orleans team that’s playing inspired football of its own. New Orleans

Buffalo at Chicago (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Fantasy players will want to sit Willis McGahee this week.  Nobody runs on the Bears.  The Madden Cruiser couldn’t move against the Bears’ defense.  Buffalo’s defense is performing well, but with JP Losman throwing lots of passes, it is hard to imagine that this game becomes anything but a blow-out. Anybody else get a tear in their eye remembering Tampa’s 1999 defense when they watch this Bear D?  Chicago

Reynolds – Damn Bears. Every time I watch Tommie Harris play, I see a younger version of Warren Sapp. That guy can flat out play. Every time I see Tampa Bay’s Booger McFarland play, I see someone who is supposed to be Sapp-like … and isn’t even close. Chicago

Flynn – Bills fans should savor the win against the Vikings while it lasts. The Chicago Bears are for real, people. They arguably are the most balanced team in the NFL, and the Bears will have no problem supporting that notion against the Bills on Sunday. Chicago

Tennessee at Indianapolis (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Friends, if this game was a Poker tournament, Indy would be holding pocket aces and Tennessee would be 2-7 off suit — 18 points!  I think the Volunteers would get more respect in Vegas than the Titans do.  Jeff Fisher ages another few years this week.  Indianapolis

Reynolds – Indy in a romp. ‘Nuff said. Indianapolis

Flynn – Even on Tennessee’s best day and Indy’s worst day this game wouldn’t be close. The Colts dominate at home against a reeling Titans team that might not win a game this year. Indianapolis

Miami at New England (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – It said here the Patriots don’t lose two in a row last week, and they didn’t.  It says here this week that the Pats always struggle against the Fish in Miami.  Tom Brady has had his lowest rated games as a pro at Joe Robbie.  Nick Saban must have been dreaming of Drew Brees as he watched Daunte Culpepper hit the turf last week for his 21st sack of the season.  The line is weak, and Daunte is no longer mobile.  There will be sacks, and there will be turnovers.  The Patriots will win, but stay away from the 9.5 points. It won’t be pretty.  New England

Reynolds – Jim Flynn thought this year would be the beginning of the end for the New England Patriots. Tell that to Cincinnati. The Pats can draft, and Laurence Maroney – not Reggie Bush – is the best rookie running back. The Dolphins are the AFC version of the Buccaneers. New England

Flynn – Looks like the Denver Broncos awoke a sleeping giant in New England. The Patriots returned to form last Sunday in their convincing win on the road in Cincinnati. The Patriots have a chance to put the Dolphins in an even bigger hole in the AFC East division, and Tom Brady and Co. usually don’t blow these types of opportunities. New England

Washington at New York Giants (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

MacArthur – Well looky here, about 1,000 yards of offense and 67 points in two weeks.  I guess those banged up Redskins are getting the hang of Al Saunders’ offense, aren’t they?  Jeremy Shockey is adding to Tiki Barber’s serenade last year about the Giants getting out-coached.  With 24 total coaches and 4 former NFL head coaches on the Redskins staff, poor Tom Coughlin is out-manned as well. Ex-Redskin Antonio Pierce says ex-Redskin Lavar Arrington is happy in New York.  He doesn’t even mind the losing. Take the points. Washington

Reynolds – The Redskins offense is coming around. Mark Brunell still has some life left in that left arm. Clinton Portis’ return has sparked Washington. But I like the Giants at home. The Redskins defense just isn’t the dominant force it was a year ago. Look for Michael Strahan to have a big game after having a quiet start to the season. New York Giants

Flynn – The Redskins are coming off a thrilling overtime win vs. the Jaguars, but the Giants are coming off a bye week and are in a must-win situation in this division game. Look for Tiki Barber to carry the torch on offense while ex-Redskins LB LaVar Arrington gets some revenge on his former team in this contest. New York Giants

Kansas City at Arizona (Sunday 4:05 PM ET)

MacArthur – The Chiefs have been surprisingly resilient on defense.  They have taken to Herm Edwards rapidly.  Fortunately, visiting the hapless Cardinals will be just the tonic for the Chiefs as Trent Green continues to recover from his concussion.  The Arizona offensive line employs the “matador” blocking style, which consists of shouting OLE! as defensive linemen charge past.  Matt Leinert will be wishing for Winston Justice, Deuce Matui and Fred Matua before this one is done.  Heck, he might be wishing for this year’s USC line.  Kansas City

Reynolds – Rookie Matt Leinhart gets his first NFL start behind a porous offensive line and without much of a running game led by Edgerrin James. Kansas City’s defense still isn’t playing great, and questions abound as to whether Damon Huard can maintain last week’s brilliance. The coin flip says … Kansas City

Flynn – The Arizona Cardinals will start rookie Matt Leinert at quarterback in this contest, and that makes my pick an easy one to make. The Chiefs won’t win as easy as they did last week vs. the 49ers, but they should escape Arizona with the same result. Kansas City

Oakland at San Francisco (Sunday 4:05 PM ET)

MacArthur – Randy Moss wants everybody to know he’s very happy in Oakland.  Very happy indeed.  He doesn’t even care about winning and losing.  He’s in “a good place” right now.  Art Shell can’t even get an accurate read from his folks in the booth to challenge bad calls.  San Francisco reverted to form last week, but they play well at home.  Oakland will probably win a game this season.  Probably. But, it probably won’t be this week.  San Francisco

Reynolds – Oakland is a terrible, pitiful team. I don’t think I’ll pick them to win a game all year. What a sorry excuse for a football team. To have the Browns come back and beat you in your crib, Oakland? That’s a Commitment To Sucking. San Francisco

Flynn – The Raiders couldn’t even defeat the Browns at home last week, so what makes any of us think they’re going to go into San Francisco and beat a 49ers team that still has a bad taste in their mouth after a 41-0 loss to the Chiefs last week? The 49ers are bad. The Raiders are worse. San Francisco

New York Jets at Jacksonville (Sunday 4:05 PM ET)

MacArthur – This smells like a trap game, and I don’t like the 6.5 point spread at all.  The Jets are playing with fire for Coach Eric Mangini, and came within a “Stanford Band meets Music City Miracle” of beating the Colts last week.  The Jaguars are big everywhere, but big quarterback Byron Leftwich does almost as much to keep opponents in the game as he does the Jaguars.  The defense will bail him out, barely.  Jacksonville

Reynolds – Jacksonville impressed the heck out of me last week in their overtime loss at Washington. I think they’ll rebound nicely at home against a feisty Jets team. The homefield advantage makes the difference in this one. Jacksonville

Flynn – The Jets are playing with heart, but the Jaguars are playing with more talent and a chip on their shoulder after last Sunday’s overtime loss in Washington. Jacksonville

Dallas at Philadelphia (Sunday 4:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – Usually picking good teams to win at home is a successful formula, but with _ the secondary banged up and both starting wide receivers limping around, it is hard to imagine the Eagles manhandling the Cowboys Sunday.  What isn’t hard to imagine is Terrell Owens dancing on the Eagle logo at the 50 yard line.  He is a definite start in my fantasy league.  Drew Bledsoe is another one of those quarterbacks that does just enough to keep both teams in the game, but he has too much talent around him on offense and on defense to lose this one.  Dallas

Reynolds – You heard it first here – Brian Dawkins K.O.’s T.O. Wouldn’t Philly love that? Having its stud Pro Bowl safety knock out Terrell Owens? Dreams can come true, Eagles fans. If Dawkins doesn’t do it, Donovan McNabb just might. Watch T.O. be a decoy this week and Terry Glenn have a huge game. Philadelphia.

Flynn – This game should live up to the hype. Philly didn’t really look too impressive vs. Green Bay on Monday night until late in the second half. T.O. gets all of the attention while Terry Glenn catches all of the balls en route to a close win in Philly. Dallas

Pittsburgh at San Diego (Sunday 8:15 PM ET)

MacArthur – Picking good teams to win at home is usually a successful formula, but why do I smell an upset here?  Pittsburgh is coming off a bye week, and at 1-2 the Steelers are looking up at the 4-0 Ravens and the 3-1 Bengals.  The betting here is that the Steelers are an angry team after giving away their last game to the Bengals.  And, something curious happened to the Chargers in Baltimore last week.  Ladanian Tomlinson wanted back-up Michael Turner to run the ball with the game on the line.  LT didn’t have a carry for the last 8 or 9 minutes of the game. He didn’t want the ball? Well, the Steelers are no picnic to run on either, and my Spidey sense is tingling that something is just not right in San Diego.  Pittsburgh

Reynolds – San Diego is playing good football. They should have beat Baltimore last week, but will fare better at home. Pittsburgh is slumping this season and is facing an early season, must-win game against a rival AFC contender. The Chargers win a low-scoring affair as questions about Ben Roethlisberger’s confidence arise. San Diego

Flynn – The Chargers won’t blow the opportunity to rebound from last Sunday’s loss in Baltimore with a win over the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Regardless of whether they win this game or not, the Chargers will win their division. However, the Chargers will be motivated to get back on track and kick the champs while they’re down on Sunday. San Diego

Baltimore at Denver (Monday 8:30 PM ET)

MacArthur – A refreshed Denver team playing at home is usually a winner.  I have heard it said that picking good teams playing at home is usually a successful formula.  I’m finally going to follow it here.  Denver

Reynolds – Baltimore got a huge win against San Diego last week. In a battle of QBs, I like Steve McNair over Jake Plummer, who may get pulled soon in favor or rookie Jay Cutler. I like the Ravens, defense in this one, too. Baltimore

Flynn – This game could have homefield advantage in the playoffs riding on it. Steve McNair’s heroics are left behind in Baltimore while Jake “The Snake” Plummer and the Broncos work their way past the 4-0 Ravens at home. Denver

 


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