No need to ball your hands into fists and theatrically rub your eyes. I actually DID go 3-13 last week, my worst ever in 22 seasons captaining The Friday Page. At least six results coulda/shoulda gone my way but didnt, from Dan Carpenters missed kick in Miami to the Saints and Steelers blown leads. The only man who had a worse week than me was the guy who ruled it a Golden Tate catch for Seattle. Rally time! [Thursday pick: Ravens (-13) over Browns 27-10].
Line: ARI by 6 1/2.
Cotes pick: ARI 20-10.
TV: 4:05 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
Remember when the schedule came out and this looked like a pretty easy game for Miami? Get me a rewrite! Into these teams first meeting since 2008, the Cardbirds bring a 3-0 record for the first time in 25 years in the desert. They also are 10-2 dating to last midseason (best in NFL) and have won seven home games in a row. Arizonas is by no means a scary offense (apart from WR Larry Fitzgerald), but oh that defense! The Cacti have allowed only two TDs in three games and have 12 sacks. And now Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson probably will return from injury, too. Despite all this gloom I give Miami a small-to-medium upset shot for two reasons beyond the fact I expect Reggie Bush to play. 1) Miamis front seven including longtime ex-Card Karlos Dansby will dominate Zonas weak O-line and keep the score low. 2) Every scintilla of human nature says the home team will be overconfident. You win at New England and then rout Philadelphia back to back, you take the Dolphins lightly. Its practically a law. Bottom line, though? Miami has lost eight of its past 10 road games, and not a lot of imagination is needed to see Ryan Tannehill having a rough day.
Line: GB by 7 1/2.
Cotes pick: GB 34-30.
TV: 4:25 p.m., Fox (airing in South Florida).
Sure, Giants-Eagles had support from the conservative wing of the Game of the Week committee, but the fact the Saints and Packers are stunningly a combined 1-5 is what lends the intrigue here. Extenuating circumstances have rocked both of these erstwhile NFC powers, with NAwlins decimated by the Bountygate punishment and the Gee Bees flat-out jobbed by the replacement officials in that Monday night travesty. Saints are desperate for a win, and angry Packers are antsy to hit somebody. Like Rodgers at Lambeau but hunch it inside the betting line. An outright upset would not surprise.
Line: TB by 3.
Cotes pick: WAS 24-20.
TV: 4:25 p.m., Fox.
AAAWWWK! trills the Upset Bird, wearing a neat beige sweater in honor of departed crooner Andy Williams. Washingtaawwk! Tampas favorites role rests largely on the fact it has won six in a row at home over Skins, but I see that as a law-of-averages thing ready to swing the other way rather than as a trend youd saddle up with any confidence. Both teams have putrid pass defenses, so give me Robert Griffin III over Josh Freeman to better take advantage. Bucs really struggling on offense. Their red zone is a dead zone, notes U-Bird. Dead zaaawwwk!