Note: Every week, I pick games against the spread on the Michael Irvin Show on ESPN Radio, and I'm putting them on our blog.
Sometimes things just don't go your way. It seems every season I have one week that I just get utterly, horribly wrong. That was last week, when I went 0-5 in my official picks, and I also lost three of the other four games I was considering. To good news is, it can't get worse . . . (my picks in bold.)
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans -14
Finally, the best-looking quarterback in Cleveland, Ken Dorsey, gets to play. Unfortunately, it's against a defense with a chip on its shoulder. Last time Tennessee played a home game, the defense allowed two runners over 80 yards and Brett Favre to complete 78% of his passes. Poor, poor Ken Dorsey.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers -3
I think this game is going to come down to the matchup between the Panthers' pass defense and the Bucs' pass offense. Julius Peppers has seen a resurgence this year, and the Panthers' corners have played pretty well. Note this: When Jeff Garcia's passer rating is under 90 on the road, they are 0-3; When it's over 90 on the road, they are 2-0.
Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers -6
Houston has been good at home (4-2) but atrocious on the road (1-5). The weather forecast for Sunday in Green Bay is high of 18 degrees. While the Texans' offensive game plan will be to run behind Steve Slaton, Matt Schaub, who hasn't played in over a month, will have to throw at some point; A little rust in that weather and against those corners could be devastating.
Dallas Cowboys +3 at Pittsburgh Steelers
This is definitely a risky pick, given the unknown status of Marion Barber. But, that's what they make pain killers for. The Cowboys' defensive line could have a field day against the Steelers' O line. This game will come down to, simply, which team plays better and wants it more, and after three months of being down on the Cowboys, I am starting to believe.
Last week: 0-5. Season: 36-32-2