Talking Trash

Tom Sorensen’s NFL picks: Remember when weather, I were hot?

tsorensen@charlotteobserver.comOctober 26, 2013 

Most Sundays, I’m in a stadium. When I’m not, I debate where to watch. There are a few sports bars and non-sports bars with large flat screens I like.

But if there’s a game I want to see, I almost always stay home. I don’t go to sports bars to argue with jersey-wearing adult fans. Arguing is what email and Twitter are for.

I always plan to watch the early game, the late game and the later game. But if the weather is decent, I can’t justify staying inside.

No matter where I watch, the results will be more favorable than they were last week. I was rolling. And then I wasn’t.

Last week: 8-7

Season: 69-38

Upset of the week: Picked Baltimore (plus 21/2) to upset Pittsburgh. The non-running Ravens lost by 3.

Season: 4-3

Lock of the week: I picked cowardly Kansas City (minus 61/2) to cover against Houston. The Chiefs won by 1.

This week’s picks, with the home team in CAPS:

PHILADELPHIA 27, N.Y. Giants 23: Philadelphia’s fast break offense was the talk of the league for a week. It was going to revolutionize the NFL. I like innovators, so I’d like to see the offense work. But I don’t know if it will.

OAKLAND 21, Pittsburgh 20: The Steelers, who have won two straight, played a rough game last week against the Ravens. Now they fly across country. That’s a tired defense Pittsburgh has, a defense that has been unable to get to the quarterback. I like Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor to outrun the Steelers in this one.

DETROIT 33, Dallas 30: Dallas couldn’t score last week but the defense was exceptional. Shouldn’t the Lions, however, be able to deploy Calvin Johnson against the Cowboys’ cover 2? With Julio Jones out, the two best receivers in the league – Johnson and Dallas’ Dez Bryant – might be on the field. Even if Jones were healthy these might be the league’s best receivers. But Julio is in the conversation.

DENVER 34, Washington 20: Glad to see RG3 almost all the way back. The scrambling young quarterbacks are entertaining as well as talented. Despite Denver’s loss to Indianapolis last week, however, Peyton Manning will be the best quarterback on the field – and on almost every other field he steps. If former Panther Josh McCown can tear up the Washington defense so effectively, Manning ought to have a shot.

The rest

KANSAS CITY 24, Cleveland 17

NEW ORLEANS 36, Buffalo 20

NEW ENGLAND 26, Miami 20

CINCINNATI 27, New York Jets 21

Green Bay 29, MINNESOTA 20

Seattle 23, ST. LOUIS 17

Upset of the week

Atlanta (plus 21/2) 26, ARIZONA 24: If running back Steven Jackson is over his hamstring injury, the Falcons get a boost. Even if he isn’t, I like Atlanta. The Falcons are flawed. But I trust the quarterback and trust the coach, and on the road, against a good defense, I think they do enough to win.

Lock of the week

San Francisco (minus 161/2) 34, Jacksonville 14: First the NFL sends Minnesota and Pittsburgh to England. Now it sends Jacksonville. What next: Chris Berman and Dick Stockton as special ambassadors? I thought we were trying to sell the game. When the 49ers are on they dominate the line. After getting handled by Seattle and Indianapolis, they’ve been on. They’ve won four straight by an average of 20.2 points. Why stop now?

Sorensen: 704-358-5119; Twitter: @tomsorensen

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