Last week we hit rock bottom. It was capped off by the inaccurate reception crushing my Green Bay pick and bringing the record on the week to 3-11-1. Now for the season I’m at 6-17-2. This human torch will not be denied a bank loan though. Grampie got fired after making the picks and not having the wisdom to look into the degree to which the replacement officials were determining outcomes. This week the real officials are back. And so I am.
ATLANTA HAWKS (-7 ½) over Carolina Panthers: I was listening to Doug Gottlieb on CBS Radio earlier this week speak about how much has changed in the perceptions of Cam Newton versus Matt Ryan. Good point. Perhaps a better point though is how much the outlook on this whole division has been altered. The Falcons have looked like the best team in football while the Saints look to be heading toward the Matt Barkley sweepstakes (not saying Drew Brees is done – just saying Matt Barkley is going #1 regardless).
New England Patriots (-4.5) over BUFFALO Bills: The conventional wisdom is that the Patriots are going to be mean and angry, and that Bill Belichick will have the Patriots ready. The Pats haven’t loss three in a row since 2002. That said, the Bills have the type of team that can matchup with New England defensively. They can get to the quarterback and it won’t hurt that they are playing on the road. In the end though, I’m not sure if Buffalo can accomplish enough offensively. Both running backs are dinged up and New England has been pretty good at stopping running backs thus far in 2012.