Since I was on the road, I missed the first game (I’m, ah, sure I would have picked the Texans behind the immortal T.J. Yates.) But still time for the other three:
Detroit at New Orleans: What, who’s playing the Saints now? Must be a misprint. Seriously, discipline aside you have to be impressed with how quickly the Lions have recovered from Matt Millen, and also impressed that Stafford has become a top 10 QB. But they’re at least a year early as a playoff contender, playing a terrific team that’s especially good at home, Stafford still ain’t Brees, and the Lions were scored on at will by the Packers’ second-string. Saints -10 1/2.
Pittsburgh at God’s Own Team. Obviously, a huge mismatch. Which, yes, yes, doesn’t mean that a Broncos win is impossible (cf. the Seahawks last year.) Only the Seahawks had someone with some history of being an NFL QB; the Broncos have a guy who’s merely bad when he doesn’t turn the ball over and is Ryan Leaf-caliber when he does. If you think that the Tebow who didn’t generate turnovers is the real one, then the Broncos have a puncher’s chance. Me, I say Steelers -8 with extreme prejudice.
Atlanta at NY Giants This, on the other hand, is as close as it gets. and surprisingly Ryan was as good or better than Manning (the latter of whom has been much better than I thought he would be.) The question of the game is whether the very good Falcons offensive line can protect against the healthier Giants pass rush and allow Ryan to pick on the atrocious Giants secondary. The answer is…I have no idea. But in those circumstances I guess you should take the points. Falcons +3.