This has been a week of intriguing QB moves, with John Beck (Redskins), Christian Ponder (Vikings), Tim Tebow (Broncos), and Kyle Boller (Raiders) getting their first starts of the 2011 NFL season.  Don’t expect the latter to play Oakland’s next game, however, as Carson Palmer is the new franchise QB (at least it’s not JaMarcus Russell).   I know I haven’t been posting as much as I should be, but sooner or later I will get the motivation to…it’s just somehow these week’s games are generally just…mediocre.

Regardless, off to the predictions!

Tim Tebow, the star of our Zoloft ULTIMATE Game of the Week

Washington @ Carolina (1pm)

Cole: I’ve thought Beck was a better option for Washington for awhile. No he’s not a starting quarterback, but neither is Rex Grossman, and Sexy Rexy had won ugly up until last week … when he was just ugly.  Carolina’s defense is atrocious and Washington’s is developing into one of the best. Kerrigan and Orakpo are rivaling the Steelers Woodley and Harrison in pass rush duos. Newton will put up numbers, but I think Washington keeps them in check. 24 – 17 Washington

Andy: To me, John Beck does not seem like a QB to lead a team to victory, and Cam Newton has been so close so many times.  I think he will finally earn his 2nd win against a Redskins team that somehow is reeling with a winning record.  27-21 Carolina

Seattle @ Cleveland (1pm)

Cole: Charlie Whitehurst > Tavaris Jackson. It’s as simple as that. Why T-Jack was ever at the helm over Whitehurst still boggles my mind. I expect a healthy dose of Marshawn Lynch today against one of the worst defenses in the NFL currently and a sound win by the Seahawks. 27 – 13 Seattle

Andy: Seattle has already won on the East Coast this year and Cleveland is an absolute wreck of a team right now.  If Colt McCoy throws the ball more than 35 times, Cleveland is doing something very, very wrong.  24-20 Seattle

Atlanta @ Detroit (1pm) (Game of the Week)

Cole: This is a tough game, but not because it’ll be a coin flip shootout. Both teams have struggled on offense. The Lions continue to start slow and build late while the Falcons simply putter along with a couple nice drives mixed into ineptitude. So we’ll look to defense, where Detroit continues to have the better unit. The Falcons are solid, but unspectacular. If the Falcons can run, it’ll put pressure on Detroit, who won’t be able to without any respectable running backs this week. Look for a heavy dose of Michael Turner and some big plays from Ryan to keep it close, but we’ll go with the defense and homefield. 24 – 20 Detroit

Andy: One of the few intriguing games this week.  Atlanta needs to copy their performance of last week offensively, running the ball more and focusing less on trying to be a Patriots-like offense.  Whether or not Detroit can rebound from a tough loss last week will say a lot about this team.  This week, I think they suffer a hangover from the 49ers and have a let down.  28-24 Atlanta

Denver @ Miami (1pm) (Zoloft ULTIMATE Game of the Week)

Cole: Confession. I am a Crimson Tide fan. Roll Tide! Which means that hating Tebow has been a passion of mine. I think he’s mechanically horrendous and his ability to operate an NFL offense is simply not there. That being said, he faces a terrible defense in the Miami Dolphins who do not have a quarterback, running back, receiver with hands, or playmakers on defense. Tebow wins today. 21 – 13 Denver

Andy: 1-4 Broncos vs. 0-5 Dolphins?  Tim Tebow starting, and Miami basically marketing this game to Gator fans?  How could this NOT be the Zoloft ULTIMATE game of the week?  I actually think Tebow can at least be an okay quarterback in the NFL, but this week it’s all about just how bad the Dolphins are.  They’re very, very bad.  21-13 Denver

San Diego @ New York Jets (1pm)

Cole: The Jets continue to look ugly. Even against the lowly Dolphins they were outplayed for almost a half last week. Any respectable team would’ve stomped on them, made them one dimension and tore Sanchez a new one. Enter the Chargers, a respectable team. Rivers gets Antonio Gates back this week, which should open up the deep ball to Vincent Jackson and the rushing attack of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. I don’t think this will be too close. 24 – 10 San Diego

Andy: “The floodgates” returns, with the Rivers-to-Gates connection coming back this week.  Even last week, the Jets did not look so good against a bad Dolphins team (so much of that was the Dolphins’ own incompetence).  Rex Ryan will wish he hadn’t given Norv Turner and the Chargers some motivation.  30-21 San Diego

Chicago @ Tampa Bay (1pm EST, 6pm GMT)

Cole: The London Buccaneers, or Silly Nannys as they will soon be known, face off at ‘home’ against the Bears. The Bears decided to travel last minute which is a huge mistake. I think that fatigue will be a major factor here, while the Bucs arrived a week ago and went touring. Sure they could’ve used practice, but frankly, why bother when you’re just going to hurry up no huddle in the fourth quarter for victory. Taking Tampa Bay here in a close, low scoring one. 17 – 13 Tampa Bay

Andy:  Rule Brittania!  In what is becoming all too familiar for the Bucs, they are hosting the Bears in London (hint: if you want to keep your team Tampa, SELL OUT YOUR GAMES).  It’s hard to know if the Bucs who got shellacked by the 49ers are going to show up, of it will be the Bucs who beat the Saints.  My guess is something that is in between, but that should still be enough to beat the Bears.  As usual, expect a 4th quarter comeback.  27-24 Tampa Bay

Houston @ Tennessee (1pm)

Cole: Could be the battle for the AFC South here. Unfortunately, the snake-bit Houston Texans still are without Andre Johnson and lack Mario Williams long term. Equally unfortunate is that thus far, they’ve had to face top rush defenses in the NFL without their passing threat, making their vaunted run game easier to key on. Still, they ran for 92 combined yards against a stingy Ravens defense and I consider them the best in the NFL at run stopping currently. Titans are number 2. On the other side, the Titans lack any playmakers on offense. Somehow they still score points, but I can’t figure it out. Defensively they are rock solid. I don’t expect too much from CJ2K, except a healthy dose of touches. Titans in a low scoring close game. 16 – 10 Titans

Andy:  I don’t like Houston without Mario Williams or Andre Johnson, but they still have a good defense and a top running game with something to prove after being stuffed last week in Baltimore.  Against every grain of my body telling my to avoid the Texans, I’m going to pick them to finish the game ahead.  31-28 Houston

Pittsburgh @ Arizona (4:05pm)

Cole: Larry Fitzgerald is longing for his big time partner Anquan Boldin to open up the field for him. I might suspect that Boldin wouldn’t mind rejoining Fitzgerald to boost his numbers as well, but at least he’s on a winning team. The only hope Arizona have is that their coaching staff is relatively familiar with the Steelers style of play. Unfortunately it didn’t help them when they had both receivers and Kurt Warner. Now without them, I don’t see a lot of hope here. 28 – 10 Pittsburgh

Andy:  As long as Pittsburgh covers Larry Fitzgerald, they should win this game.  Is it really that simple?  With the way Arizona is playing, yes, it most certainly is.  28-13 Pittsburgh

Kansas City @ Oakland (4:05pm)

Cole: Ladies and Gentlemen. Bombs Away Boller is back in the building. And this time, he’s going to hand off with the best of them. The Chiefs defense is decimated by injuries and their offense is pedestrian. Even a division rivalry game won’t get them over the hump. If they stack 10 in the box it might be enough to deter Oakland from running, but even then I’d guess Hue Jackson loads up on offensive lineman and says we’re coming for ya. 30 – 13 Oakland

Andy:  It’s probably right that the Raiders do not start Palmer after only a couple practices, and Boller knows this offense.  Still, expect to see A LOT of McFadden and Michael Bush.  I think this is the game that finally seals the Chiefs’ fate as the #3 team in the West.  27-17 Oakland

St. Louis @ Dallas (4:15pm)

Cole: Even Dallas can beat St. Louis. No Bradford for the Rams and the worst defense in the NFL against the pass. Not a good combination. Big day from all the Cowboys receivers. 28 – 6 Cowboys

Andy: Sam Bradford has improved weapons at WR with Brandon Lloyd and Mark Clayton, but throw in a high ankle sprain and the situation screams of better results…but not this week.   If the Cowboys lose this game, then I will be impressed at their ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 28-17 Dallas

Green Bay @ Minnesota (4:15pm)

Cole: Ponder gets a rough debut. Dom Capers mixes things up, showing a variety of looks that Ponder will have to identify. Zone Blitz schemes are tough to pick up for rookies. It’ll be up to Adrian, as usual, to carry them to victory, but I don’t see it happening against The World Heavyweight Champion Aaron Rodgers. 34 – 17 Green Bay

Andy:  Welcome to the NFL, Christian Ponder.  He didn’t look great last week, but at least he was active inside and outside the pocket trying to make plays.  Still, having your first start against the best team in the NFL right now has to suck.  Expect Aaron Rodgers to have a disappointing game and throw for only 3 or 4 touchdowns.  34-20 Green Bay

Sunday Night Football

Indianapolis @ New Orleans (8:20pm)

Cole: New Orleans crushes Indianapolis. Brees is patient and can pick apart a Tampa 2 for the whole length of the field. 27 – 17 New Orleans

Andy: The first of two terrible night games.  Indianapolis has Curtis Painter, and New Orleans has a pro bowler whose pissed off about his bad performance last week.  You do the math.  35-24 New Orleans

Monday Night Football

Baltimore @ Jacksonville (8:30pm)

Cole: John Harbaugh does not lose to bad teams. We all thought that maybe he did after the Titans game, but it turns out the Titans had a ferocious defense and (with Kenny Britt) a solid offense. Jacksonville, on the other hand, is a bad team. Lots of blitzing for the Blaine Train Gabbert, and if he doesn’t know where Ed Reed is, you might see a 2 pick night from the future Hall of Famer. Even if Flacco looks as bad as he did against the Jets, they should walk away with this one. 27 – 9 Baltimore

Andy: Assuming the Ravens dominate another bad team as expected, you could probably turn this game off at halftime.  Sending a rookie whose looked confused at times against the NFL’s best defense is just plain unfair.  24-7 Baltimore

Last Week

Cole: 8-5

Andy: 10-3

Total Record

Cole: 57-33 (.633)

Andy: 63-27 (.700)

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