Various other regular contributors to this series are either still sitting in Gillette Stadium high-fiving each other, or on their way to London to see the Queen.
But Glenn and I are here to make our picks, herein submitted for your consideration. Please feel free to comment copiously.
To begin, the byes: Ravens, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, Titans. In the interest of brevity, admittedly unusual for us, I will say simply that the Broncos are the only team in the bunch who are not in near-desperate need of a week off.
Let's get this party started.
Sunday, October 25
GC: The Packers are coming off an easy win with their last game and easy continues through this week against the Browns.
TR: Cleveland is lacking in so many ways, it's hard to imagine an upset here. Plus, it seems about half the team has come down with the flu. If Aaron Rogers can manage to stay off the ground, the Pack has the win.
GC: The Chargers just got smacked around at home and are looking to redeem themselves and avoid two losses in a row. The Chiefs on the other hand got a taste of winning and now they get to play at home. The Chiefs will squeak this one out.
TR: The Bolts are beat up, but they are a team with a lot of guts. KC, on the other hand, are becoming more sure of themselves with every game. San Diego will give it their all, but it won't be enough on the road.
GC: Those damn Texans. They throw me for a loop every time…win, lose, win, lose. Who can tell how good they really are. I'm picking them for the hometown win this week…damn it.
TR: It seems everybody has trouble figuring out Houston. Matt Schaub was hot last week, but I doubt his brief "streak" will continue. For the 'Niners, Crabtree will finally play, but I don't think his debut will mean much. And then again, there is Frank Gore...SF gets the win
GC: Yes I know the Vikings are 6–0 but I feel a couple of those games were give-me games and a couple were lucky squeakers. Despite my feelings you have to say that this Vikings team has played to keep themselves in each and every game. If the Steelers don’t pour the points on early they will not keep the Vikings off their backs. I’m going to say the Vikings upset the Steelers at home.
TR: Despite their respective records, I believe that the Steelers are too strong in too many ways, and Brett Favre's magic show will not work, not this time. And as much as I love Adrian Peterson, he is going up against the number two ranked run defense in the NFL, so I wish him luck. Favre will eat some dirt as Pittsburgh wins at home.
GC: The Patriots have no problem destroying the teams they should beat. The Buccaneers are a team they are supposed to beat. I don’t care how much sleep the Bucs get on the plane ride over to England it’s going to turn out like a bad dream for them at Wembley stadium.
TR: Last Sunday was fun for us, but I don't take it as a sign of anything. It was The Perfect Storm for the Pats, that's all, a convergence of circumstances that no sane person could have predicted.
The fact remains that there are some troubles for these Patriots: Julian Edelman's broken arm, Adalius Thomas' is-it-or-isn't-it broken relationship with Belichick, Fred Taylor's surgery, Sammy Morris' mysterious injury, just to name a few. And Joey Galloway has been removed from Belichick's sight, so the team is short a receiver. He hadn't contributed much anyway.
How quickly things have changed; just a few weeks ago, Tom Brady's knee would have been at the top of that list. And the reality is that The Knee will always be somewhere on the list, in my mind.
But despite their issues, they are improving at about the rate I expected, and they should have a jolly old time in London. The Bucs have packed some motivation in their bags, but the Patriots will come home happy.
Indianapolis @ St. Louis
GC: I have no doubt that the Colts will waste much time in putting the Rams in their place. My hope is this though: the Colts have played so many poor to mediocre teams that they won’t even be prepared for the games they have against decent teams.
TR: Colts. Again. Period. Much to my dismay.
GC: What a difference a couple of weeks makes; the Jets have been rocked by a couple of losses and the Raiders on the other hand just got a confidence boost.
TR: Poor Mark Sanchez. He made it look so easy early in the season, and maybe he will again. The loss of Kris Jenkins hurts a lot. Oakland remains near the bottom of the heap in pretty much every statistical category, however, and I don't care if it is a home game. I hope I'm wrong, but I believe the Jets will find some offense and take the Raiders down.
GC: The Bills are showing some life finally but then again so are the Panthers. Again I will go with the home team Panthers in this matchup.
TR: Both of these teams are just...troubled. They are in the same dire straits offensively, but the Cats have a slight defensive edge. And they do have what is, for them, a streak going.
If Mr. Delhomme can avoid throwing five or six interceptions, Carolina can easily win this game. Whatever else happens, the biggest thing going for the Panthers is they aren't playing in Buffalo. Carolina wins in a game you couldn't pay me to watch. Did I just write that?
GC: The Saints have shown that they are a force not to be ignored. The Dolphins are going to upset the apple cart and win a upset at home.
TR: The Saints are the best team in the NFL right now, in my opinion. I don't see them losing anywhere, not any time soon. What's that you say? Wildcat? Even if Miami puts up 50 points, the Saints will put up 51.
GC: The Falcons are playing solid football right now the question is, did the Cowboys fix all their wrongs with their week off….did they fix any of their wrongs? I think the Falcons have enough defense to get after Romo and we all know the Falcons have the offense to score. This will be a Falcons win.
TR: It's hard to pick against a team with two running backs averaging better than five yards a carry, but this is Dallas, and Tony Romo. Atlanta is doing everything it can to give New Orleans a battle in the NFC South, but is it enough? I have to go with the Cowboys at home.
GC: The Bears are going to visit an embarrassed Bengals team playing at home. Watch out Bears, the Bengals are not going to let you win.
TR: The Jay Cutler party hasn't lasted long, but it isn't his fault that Da Bears have no ground game to speak of. On paper, the Bengals don't look great, but they are on a roll as Carson Palmer continues to improve. Bengals take it as Palmer tears up a mediocre Chicago pass defense.
GC: Are the Cardinals for real? We will find out as they go up against a good Giants team. Did we find out that the Giants have some weaknesses? Yes we did. I just don’t think the Cardinals will be able to take advantage of them; Giants win big.
TR: This one will be fun. The Cards will bring their number one ranked run defense to visit the Giants' fifth-ranked ground game. Unfortunately for Arizona, their run offense is pretty much at the bottom of the heap, while the G-Men are playing against the run really well. And then there is New York's first-ranked pass defense. Oh, enough with the stats, we know the Giants can put up a lot of points, and that is the only stat that will matter.
Monday, October 26
GC: What happened to the Eagles last week? They will rebound and take this game away from the Redskins.
TR: I have about as much success with Washington as I do with Houston. Tampa Bay showed the Eagles some defense last week, and McNabb and company will not let the 'Skins sneak up on them here. Philadelphia wins, not in a blowout, but they will not be kind to their division rivals.