Denny the Dog by Dennis Ball |
Remember the Titans? Not too many days ago the experts had them penciled in as a doormat to the Indy Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars in the smashmouth AFC South.
But what the Titans are remembered for right now is 4-0 for the first time in their history. Without a doubt, Jeff Fisher's team is the feel good story of the season to this point. The Bills are the only team that might feel better. Buffalo has shuffled off to a 4-0 start for the first time in 16 years.
Is there any offense the Titans defense can't shut down? Is their any defense the Bills can't mount a late charge against? Kerry Collins is doing an admirable job of filling in for Vince Young and the thunder and lightning of White and Johnson continues to give opposing defenses too many dangerous options to consider. The Bills are displaying just as much character as Tennessee. It will be fun to watch these two team progress.
The dogs are not a feel good story after one month in the books. The dogs were 5-7 last Sunday and Denny The Dog was even worse. Let's find some doggies that will make us feel great!
Titans -3 at Ravens: Joe Flacco has defied the odds of a rookie starting QB over the first few weeks. The Titans are exactly the type of aggressive, ferocious defense that should rattle him. I trust the graybeard Kerry Collins more in the turnover department. Flacco can't even grow a beard yet. TITANS.
Chiefs +8 at Panthers: I have to give Herm Edwards and the Chiefs their due. KC managed to upset Denver after playing musical quarterbacks for three weeks and finally coming back to Damon Huard. I have a hunch the Chiefs are going to see a more tenacious pass rush at Carolina. Jake Delhomme has the advantage of mixing a bruising running game with Jonathan Stewart with the deep pass. Panthers registered over 10 yards per pass play versus Atlanta. PANTHERS.
Bears -2½ at Lions: The NFL should come up with a bailout package for the Lions. It should provide the Lions with three wins, which should hold them over for the remainder of 2008. Now that the Lions have buried the Matt Millen regime, everyone may be able to relax a little and take a deep breath. Time for the Lions to start living up to some of the preseason hype! LIONS.
Falcons +8 at Packers: Matt Ryan continues to struggle on the road. Let's see if he doesn't look a little more impressive against a banged-up Packers secondary. I'm also looking for Michael Turner to turn it up a notch. Green Bay's defense looked vulnerable last Sunday at Tampa Bay. FALCONS.
Colts -5½ at Texans: If the Texans can hang with Jacksonville, they should be able to give the Colts a run for their money. I believe they'll go for an all out assault on Peyton Manning and should be extremely hungry for their first win. Colts look exactly like Peyton Manning so far this season - not physically fit, hungry or ready to play! TEXANS.
Chargers -7 at Dolphins: Miami's upset over New England had much to do with no Tom Brady. But the Fish are anxious to prove they can scare and possibly upset a team with a solid QB. DOLPHINS.
Seahawks + 7 at Giants: The Giants had their big scare versus Cincinnati. G-Men will be ready to roll against a soft Seattle offense. GIANTS.
Redskins +6 at Eagles: Skins looked lost opening day against the G-Men. But since then it's a whole new ball game. Jason Campbell and the entire offense looks like it's digging Jim Zorn's new playbook. Zorn's team is +6 in turnovers after four games. SKINS.
Bucs +4 at Broncos: Denver's ability to give up points with relative ease finally caught up to them in Kansas City. I think Tampa Bay will be able to put up points as easily as all of the other Broncos opponents. The dogged Bucs defense seems to turn the tide every week. Beware of the Denver D! BUCS.
Bills +1 at Cards: Staying on the East Coast worked out so well for the Cards that they flew directly out West on Sunday night to work out with the USC beach volleyball team. I think the Cards were playing beach volleyball against the Jets! I have six reasons to get off the Cards bandwagon and it's Kurt Warner's turnovers (three fumbles, three interceptions) last Sunday. Buffalo has a great chance to remain undefeated. BILLS.
Bengals +14 at Cowboys: If Carson Palmer starts my selection is Cincy. Don't forget the Bengals nearly upset the Giants two weeks ago with Palmer under center. If the Palmer doesn't go, I'm backing off with Fitzpatrick and will take the Cowboys. Either way, Ohio starts with an O and ends with an O. Cincinnati will probably still have an ‘O' in win column after this game. BENGALS.
Patriots -3½ at 49ers: The 49ers have been very competitive in the first month of the season. Mike Nolan has to be happy with the progress of J.T. O'Sullivan. They ran into a buzzsaw last week in New Orleans, but there's a big opportunity here at home with the Pats and no Brady. NINERS.
Steelers +3 at Jaguars: Both teams are a little weary and banged up. The Jags usually find a way to win the close ones and this figures to be competitive. JAGUARS.
Vikings +3½ at Saints: The Monday Nighter. Drew Brees is having the time of his life even without favorite receiver Marques Colston. Brees didn't even mind Jeremy Shockey being out last week. It's one of those years where everything seems to be going Saints way and against the Vikes. I'm looking for that trend to continue. SAINTS.
Best Bones: Titans -3, Skins +6, Niners +3½