I hate to brag. Wait. Got nabbed by Fact Checkers. I love to brag, its just that I get so little chance! Last weeks 13-1 record (.929) was my best week in 22 years on The Friday Page. Only Doug Martins craziness for the Bucs at Oakland prevented my perfection. Our buoyant 10-4 against the spread was much needed as well. Three outright upset calls led our preening parade: Steelers over Giants (Aawwk!), Panthers over Redskins and Colts over Dolphins. Why cant I do this all the time? I ask myself, rhetorically, dreaming. [Thursday pick: Colts (-3) over Jaguars, 24-16]
Line: MIA by 6.
Cotes pick: MIA 30-17.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
Does the game being in South Florida mean itll be early Wednesday before all of the points are counted and a winner is finally declared? Cant recall when Miami was last favored by as much as it is this week. It is largely because the Titans sink-like-the-Titanic defense is on pace to allow 547 points and break the durable NFL season record of 533 set by the 1981 Baltimore Colts. Owner Bud Adams, 89, called last weeks 51-20 loss to Chicago his franchises most disappointing home defeat in his 50-year ownership dating to the Oilers days, saying his team was grossly out-coached and outplayed. In other words, Dolphins, yall had BETTER not lose this one! Miami simply does not have the margin of error in the playoff chase to afford a stumble here. Titans QB Jake Locker returns after five games out injured, but that wont matter much if MIAs stout run defense limits Chris Johnson and extends to a league-best 23 games its streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher. As for that Titans D? Its so bad that we might well expect fat stats from Ryan Tannehill and Reggie Bush.
Line: CHI by 1.
Cotes pick: CHI 20-17.
TV: 8:20 p.m., NBC (airing in South Florida).
If the average game is a bag o fast-food burgers, this one is the finest piece of Kobe beef at Prime 112. Talk about a match-up ready for the solitary night stage! The teams rank 1-2 in point differential and are a combined plus-24 on turnovers, with Bears on a six-game win streak and Texans 3-0 on the road. Game also features the two defensive player of the year frontrunners in HOU sackman J.J. Watt and Chitown havoc-wreaker Charles Tillman. Tillman thought he might miss this game because his wife was due but shell deliver Monday. Good thing. Otherwise the infant would have been named Least Popular Baby in Chicago. Give me that awesome Bears defense and the chilly home field in a game Id pay to see.
Line: ATL by 2 1/2.
Cotes pick: NO 31-28.
TV: 1 p.m., Fox.
AAAWWWK! bugles the Upset Bird. Last unbeaten falls! Mercury Maawwk! 72 Daawwk! This might not be a huge upset by the point spread, but here is what makes it big: Atlanta is 29-0 when Matt Ryan has a 100 passer rating, and NAwlins pass defense could only be worse if the starting cornerbacks were my wife and I. Seriously. What am I thinking? Well, ATL is the 15th team to reach 8-0 since 1978, and nine of the other 14 have reached the Super Bowl, but Im still not sold on the Falcs as a superpower. They have fed on a soft schedule. So give me Drew Brees at home. Give me a Fleur de Lis squad on a 10-2 run in this division rivalry. (When the Saints are on defense, Ill be the guy praying.) Have a feeling Don Shula might have an interest in this result, notes U-Bird. Shoes ready to pop that bottle of champaaawwwk!