Line: PHI by 4.
Cotes pick: PHI 23-16.
TV: 4:05 p.m., Fox (airing in South Florida).
Bird Bowl is an interesting matchup, with Zona trying to jump out to 3-0 for first time in 25 seasons in the desert, and Philly the first team ever to start 2-0 with two 1-point wins. Eagles also are first team since 1983 to be 2-0 despite nine turnovers. Arizona has become credible 9-2 run since last midseason but I dont see Cards and Kevin Kolb (facing his ex-team) with enough punch to get past Phillys big D.
FALCONS (2-0) at CHARGERS (2-0)
Line: SD by 3.
Cotes pick: SD 28-27.
TV: 4:05 p.m., Fox.
Diego hasnt been 3-0 since 2002 but has a great chance to get there in this one. I think Atlanta is a better all-round team, but Falcons are making a long trip on a short week, which disproportionately favors the home team. Ill ride that factor, but Im unsure enough that Ill hedge my bet by taking ATL with the points. Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers could make it a shootout.
TEXANS (2-0) at BRONCOS (1-1)
Line: HOU by 2.
Cotes pick: HOU 24-20.
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
Always a risk betting against Peyton Manning at home getting points, but Id do it. Houstons great defense will hassle Manning, flush him out, annoy him and, yes, tip a pass or three. On the other side, Matt Schaub is 10-1 on TDs/picks in his past six road games. Bonus note: Texans coach Gary Kubiak spent 20 years as Broncos player (9) or assistant (11).
STEELERS (1-1) at RAIDERS (0-2)
Line: PIT by 4.
Cotes pick: PIT 27-17.
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS.
Both teams are struggling to run, so give me Ben Roethlisberger over Carson Palmer (please), and give me Pittsburghs defense over the Oakland D that made Miami look like a juggernaut and turned Reggie Bush into Barry Sanders. Raiders are desperate and home before their goony fans, but better team trumps intangibles almost every time.
PACKERS (1-1) at SEAHAWKS (1-1)
Line: GB by 31/2.
Cotes pick: GB 34-27.
TV: 8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN (airing in South Florida).
MNF has a good one, with both teams coming off very impressive wins, Pack over Chicago and Hawks routing Dallas. Seattle is a strong home team with another big upset shot. Seabirds have a tough secondary and Gee Bees D is big on sacking, meaning both QBs will be under pressure. No offense, rookie Russell Wilson, but make mine Aaron Rodgers.