We were contemplating a legal name change and a disguise after our historically awful prior week, but at least we enjoyed a modest bounce-back last week. Bulls-eyed our Upset special with Skins winning at Bucs (Aawwk!), and also had Saints with points over Pack and Vikes-plus over Detroit among our highlights. Not sure if this qualifies as momentum, but its close enough for a desperate man. [Note: Thursday-game pick was Rams (+1 1/2) over Cardinals, 20-17].
Line: CIN by 3 1/2.
Cotes pick: CIN 27-24.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
A 431-yard passer, a 253-yard receiver, eight defensive sacks and it isnt enough man, the Dolphins truly ARE inventing new ways to lose. Now, though, hard-luck Miami has won on six of its past seven trips to the Queen City, and I give the Fins a medium shot at an outright road win in this one, following heartbreak overtime losses the past two weeks. That upset hat hangs on this hook: Reggie Bush and a stout running game against a Cincinnati run defense allowing 5.4 yards per carry. Ball control to limit the Bengal offenses time on the field is the big hope, otherwise Cincy WR A.J. Green will be a Week 5 fantasy darling against a Dolphins secondary that isnt very good (or particularly healthy). Alas, I see a big day for Green and a purring Cats offense that has averaged 33 points in its current three-game win streak. I also think a Gals defense leading the NFL with 17 sacks will make it tougher on Ryan Tannehill than did Arizona a week earlier. Thats why I like The Nati outright. The betting line, though that danging half-point is begging me, wooing and romancing me, to pick Miami to cover. I am smitten.
Line: NE by 6 1/2.
Cotes pick: NE 38-34.
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
The Game of the Week cabinet gave a cursory glance at Eagles-Steelers and Chargers-Saints this week but ultimately was drawn as if by hypnosis to the holy altar of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. I dont wanna say thisll be a shootout, but the score is already 24-21 and kickoff is still two days away. Brady affirmed his magic last week in engineering a 45-point second half that made Buffalos defense collapse like a U.S. Ryder Cup team, while Manning has middle-fingered his critics (though not literally; hes Peyton!) with vintage 300-yard games back to back. Always like Brady at home, always, still, but bet Mr. Manning finds a way to keep it close and make it thrilling deep into the fourth.
Line: ATL by 3.
Cotes pick: WAS 30-28.
TV: 1 p.m., Fox.
AAAWWWK! booms the Upset Bird. I think Im becoming infatuated with Washingtaawwk! Hey, sometimes you go with your gut. When your gut is as big as mine, thats unavoidable. Atlanta is unbeaten and Skins have somehow lost seven consecutive home games, but those trends shall end. See a big day for unheralded Alfred Morris against a run defense that is Falcs Achilles heel. Theyll be dancing in D.C.! notes the U-Bird. Well, except at the White House after watching that presidential debaawwk. Im counting on RGIII to have a better performance than Baraawwk Obaaawwwk!