As promised last week, Ed is taking time off and should be closing in to capture Edward Snowden even as the rest of us sit down to watch some football. But contrary to his rather ham handed opinion before he left, this space will not immediately turn into a den of irrational picks for Jets victories. In fact, I’m not even picking the Jets this week. (Those of you with poor enough taste to note that the Jets have a bye are just rude.) But I will hold with Hot Air tradition and pick the Pittsburgh battle against Buffalo. The Vegas line is posting the Steelers as a 1 point favorite, but since Ed picked against the Jets last week, and because it’s never happened on these pages before, I’m going to call it for the feisty Bills to march into Three Rivers and make them look like the team of the first four weeks of the season. Bills over Pittsburgh 24-13.
Last week, Ed went 3-4, making it a loosing week largely on his failed attempt at predicting the Jets game. (Which we, of course, won.) Can I show up the boss’s record while he travels the world? (all times ET):
- Eagles at Packers (1 pm, Fox) – Aaron Rogers is out for an unknown period with a cracked collarbone and the Pack has dropped into a 3 way tie with da Bears and the Lions. The Eagles haven’t been looking very good and the oddsmakers have them losing, but I’ll go with the upset here and say they’ll take advantage of Green Bay’s shakeup at the QB position and pull out a tight win. Philadelphia 21-17.
- Raiders at Giants (1 pm, CBS) – New York’s other team has suddenly emerged from being about the worst team in the league to only being one of the worst teams in the league. Still, Andre Brown is back, giving Eli Manning a bit more flexibility, and Terrelle Pryor has looked a bit too prone to mistakes. Giants over Oakland in a fairly easy walk, 31-21.
- Lions at Bears (1 pm, CBS) –The Lions are coming off of a bye and da Bears are operating on a short week. Still, Jay Cutler is back in action, and these two are now part of a three way shootout for first place in the division. In the end, it could well come down to home field advantage, so I’ll take the Bears in a mostly defensive squeaker, 20-14.
- Seahawks at Falcons (1 pm, Fox) –The Seahawks only just barely edged out the Rams and the Bucs in recent weeks, so some of that aura of invincibility isn’t as strong as it was early in the season, but it’s still darned hard to pick against them. Plus, the Falcons have the worst rushing offense in the NFL right now, so they seem to be an unlikely choice for an upset. Seattle over Atlanta 34-17.
- Cowboys at Saints (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Saints lost last week, but that was to the Jets, so we shouldn’t hold that against them. Expect that loss of focus to not derail New Orleans and their excellent pass defense against a Dallas O which doesn’t get much done on the ground and pound front. Who Dat is back, with the Saints beating the Boys 34-24.
- Dolphins at Buccaneers (MNF, 8:40 pm, ESPN) – Another not terribly interesting game, and if it weren’t the Monday night match-up I probably wouldn’t bother. The line has the Dolphins up slightly, but I’d like to see them lose to give Gang Green additional breathing room in the AFC East, so I’ll go with Tampa Bay in a small upset, 17-6.
By this time next week, Ed should have reached the magnetic North Pole and may be able to watch one of the games on his phone, but we’ve cut him off from the Hot Air controls now and we won’t be giving him a new password by then.