By Joel Nethery
Husky Herald Sportswriter
With two weeks of regular season football left, a lot can still happen. But as we get closer to the end, the Packers and Patriots still look like the favorites for the Super Bowl. So much for defense winning championships. The Patriots and Packers are 32nd and 31st against the pass, respectively. As always, the lines are from ESPN and my picks are in caps.
HOUSTON TEXANS (-5.5) at Indianapolis Colts
I like to think that Rod Marinelli and the rest of the 2008 Detroit Lions shared a bottle of champagne last week after the Colts picked up their first win of the season. The Colts have covered three straight, but I expect Arian Foster to be too much for them. Also, this pick was made prior to the game.
DENVER BRONCOS (-3.5) at Buffalo Bills
This was clearly the highlight from last week’s Broncos game. Luckily, the Broncos have a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way, so the Tebow hype should be back soon.
Arizona Cardinals at CINCINNATI BENGALS (-4.5)
John Skelton wins games. He’s 4-1 as a starter this year. But the Cardinals aren’t as good on the road and Andy Dalton wins games, too.
Cleveland Browns at BALTIMORE RAVENS (-13.5)
This pick scares me. If the Ravens decided to give the ball to Ray Rice, they could win by 20. If they decide Flacco needs to throw the ball from them to win, they’ll lose. With Boldin being out, they’ve got to get Ray Rice the ball.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+7.5) at Tennessee Titans
The Titans came within one play of upsetting the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and followed up that performance with a 14-point loss to the Colts. Also, they already lost to the Jaguars back in the first week of the season.
Oakland Raiders at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-0.5)
Against the Lions, Carson Palmer completed 32 of 40 passes for 367 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers look good, except for the fact that he could have had two more touchdowns if he didn’t overthrow his receivers. One of those overthrown passes would have won them the game, as well.
St. Louis Rams at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-15.5)
Teams that have defeated the Rams by 16+ points this season: Seattle (twice), San Francisco, Dallas, Green Bay, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Now the Rams travel to Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger could miss the game and the Steelers would still win by 16.
Miami Dolphins at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-10.5)
Tom Brady will have had plenty of time to shake off this hit from Elvis Dumervil and put up another 500 yards on the Dolphins defense.
Minnesota Vikings at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-6.5)
The Redskins beat the Giants last week despite Rex Grossman being Rex Grossman. With another good game from their defense, the Redskins will easily beat the Vikings.
NEW YORK GIANTS (+2.5) at New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CAROLINA PANTHERS (+7.5)
Tampa Bay has lost eight straight and only once in that stretch was the game closer than eight points.
San Diego Chargers at DETROIT LIONS (-2.5)
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham thinks Calvin Johnson needs a new nickname. According to Cunningham, “they need to change that name into something different because he could probably kick the crap out of Megatron.” Well said.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo has never won more than two games in December. A win against the Eagles would give him his second win of the month. He won’t let it happen.
San Francisco 49ers at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+2.5)
In his rookie season, Braylon Edwards promised to help pay college tuition for 100 eighth grade students. Didn’t Michael Scott do something similar? At least Edwards delivered on his promise. But coming off a big win against the Steelers, the 49ers are due for a letdown against the Seahawks.
Chicago Bears at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-12.5)
If you live in Chicago, now might be the time to buy a car. If the Bears shut out the Packers this weekend, a Chicago dealership will give a 100 percent rebate to anyone who purchased a car this week. Wait, the Bears have to shut out the Packers? Well, nevermind.
Atlanta Falcons at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-6.5)
Final score: New Orleans 147, Atlanta 140. It’ll be a shootout and I’m taking the best quarterback in football right now, Drew Brees.